Specialist Provision

Sahara – for Asian Women

BWA provides through Sahara House a specialist refuge for Asian women in Reading, staffed by Urdu/Punjabi speakers.  In addition Reading Borough Council fund a specialist Asian outreach worker, based at Crossing Bridges.

BWA has developed expertise in working with victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence. Referrals are received from the Forced Marriage Unit for women who need refuge. BWA works closely with local agencies to provide a coordinated response for victims.

Victims with Learning Disabilities/Difficulties

Because of their greater vulnerability victims with learning disabilities are likely to need longer term support. Within the team at BWA there are a number of staff experienced in working with clients with learning disabilities/difficulties and BWA has adapted services to better fit their needs.

Victims with Mental Health Issues

Almost half of female victims suffer from depression, with 64% affected by post traumatic stress disorder. Victims of domestic abuse represent a higher suicide risk. The majority of victims who contact the BWA helpline identify that they are depressed, with many of these self-diagnosing. Consideration of mental health issues forms part of BWA’s comprehensive risk assessment for victims with a range of co-ordinated responses offered.

“People with a long term illness or disability are more likely to experience domestic abuse than those without these conditions”. (Beyond Violence, July 2012).

Victims with Drug and Alcohol Issues

Victims of domestic abuse develop coping strategies in response to their experiences but many of these strategies are counter-productive. One study found that nearly one in five victims used alcohol and nearly one in ten drugs.

Drug and alcohol issues often need to be addressed before BWA can work effectively on the abusive relationship. The Cranstoun Choices Group allows victims with substance misuse issues to attend group work and receive support around domestic abuse whilst continuing to benefit from the input from Cranstoun.

Victims with English as a second language

The team is able operate in several languages, including German, Slovakian, Polish, French, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.

Hidden needs

Victims present with ever emerging new and previously hidden needs; BWA monitors developing trends and recent research to remain responsive.

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