South Tyneside service helping victims escape life of abuse

Options (Impact Family Services) 
From left Julie Robinson, Adele Hall, Emma Smith and Christopher Valente
Options (Impact Family Services) From left Julie Robinson, Adele Hall, Emma Smith and Christopher Valente

A charity is reaching out to victims of domestic abuse urging them not to suffer in silence.

Impact Family Services provides a one-stop-shop for those fleeing the mental, emotional and physical torture.

Services at Impact Family Services are often crucial to the wellbeing and safety of a woman and her children.

Julie Robinson

As well as supporting women who are or who have suffered at the hands of abusive partners, they also support male victims.

The charity regularly runs programmes aiming to empower victims to rebuild their lives and ease the personal blame they place on themselves.

Programmes include The Freedom Programme, Change for Women, You and Me, MUM, DV Awareness and Just ME.

The charity also runs services for dads, supporting fathers in building positive relationships and helping men in their personal domestic situations.

Each year, the charity provides help and support to over 3,000 families - some services are funded, however, fund-raising ensures others continue.

One service user said: “I am hugely thankful for the help given to me and my children. Because everything we needed was all under roof it make it possible for me to access all the help without any extra stress or confusion. I can’t thank or recommend the team at Impact enough.”

As part of the services offered to victims, an experienced team will support them in safety planning, risk assessment and housing options.

Advice and assistance is also given in criminal court procedures, non molestation orders and civil orders. Counselling is also available to those who need it.

The charity also provides escorts for victims to attend court, solicitors and GP appointments and hold a weekly support group drop-in.

Options, project manager Julie Robinson said: “Options and other women’s services at Impact Family Services are often crucial to the wellbeing and safety of a woman and her children.

“There are many projects and services under the banner, which all pull together to provide a one stop place that assists all the families.”

The Creating A Home project was launched two years ago.

It costs £8,000 a year to run and relies on donations of cash and good quality second hand furniture.

The scheme helps to give those who escape their abusive partners the chance to start a new life and create a safe home for them and their children.

With funds raised from the 16-day campaign, the charity will be able to buy essential household furniture including white goods, pay for emergency accommodation and provide funds for essential removal costs.

To donate visit www.mydonate.bt.com/charities/impactfamilyservices or visit www.impactfs.co.uk and use the donate button.

Anyone suffering at domestic abuse at the hands of their partners or family members can seek help:

Options (Impact Family Services): For women who are suffering domestic abuse - 0191 456 7577. Out of hours 07921 395508 or 07545 08671.

Mens Advice Line: For men who are suffering domestic abuse - 0808 801 0327.

Northumbria Police Choice Helpline: For those suffering honour based violence - 0800 5999 365

Broken Rainbow - Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are victims of domestic abuse - 0300 999 5428

Young Person Violence Advisor - for those aged 13-17 who are in an abusive relationship - 0191 427 2850.

Apna Ghar - for women from the ethnic minority suffering from domestic abuse - 0191 456 4147.