10 Charities Helping Women To #BREAKFREE From Shame

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  • From offering refuges to therapeutic groupwork, these are some of the charities helping women to #BREAKFREE

    As part of our #BREAKFREE campaign, we take a look at some of the charities helping women to break free from the shame surrounding their experiences of sexual violence.

    Solace Women’s Aid
    The London-based charity offers a huge range of support to domestic and sexual abuse survivors, from giving them a safe place to stay, to helping them on their journey to recovery and independence. The services they offer include counselling, specialist refuges, helplines, prevention education for children, and legal services. They have 14 refuges across London, providing safe accommodation and support for women and children, including the UK’s only Irish Traveller refuge.

    S.H.E. UK
    Based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, they offer holistic, non-judgemental support to survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. They give women a safe, confidential space to share their experiences and offer one to one, group and crisis therapy.


    As well as offering refuge and support to women and children who have experienced domestic violence, Refuge also supports families who have lost loved ones as a result. They also offer non-judgemental support to those who have suffered all types of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, stalking, trafficking, prostitution, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour-based violence.

    They offer telephone and face-to-face counselling with a holistic approach. They encourage those who attend to speak out about their feelings through poetry, music and writing.

    The Survivors Trust
    TST has a network of 141 specialist organisations throughout the UK, providing support to victims of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse throughout the UK and Ireland. They have counselling, support, helplines and advocacy services for both women and men.

    Newham Asian Women’s Project
    NAWP provides early intervention and prevention services to young girls in schools, working on confidence-building and coping strategies, and educating them on self-harm and domestic violence. Their support includes free legal advice, refuge and counselling for victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence. Importantly, they also help women to move forward without a partner, helping them to open bank accounts, with school admissions and showing them how to pay bills.

    The Havens

    Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they are a network of specialist sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) located across London. Before The Havens was set up in 2000, those who had been raped or sexually assaulted in London often had to wait for hours before a forensic medical examination or other services could be provided, and were unable to eat, drink or wash in that time. They also provide follow-up care in the form of counsellors and clinical psychologists, and specialist services for young people, victims of serious sexual violence and women from a south-Asian background.

    Rape Crisis England & Wales

    They have 46 member Rape Crisis organisations that provide services in 57 locations across England and Wales. Operating since 1973, they offer help to women and girls of all ages and identify themselves as a feminist group. They offer counselling as well as therapeutic services like groupwork and playwork in a safe, female-only environment.

    Based in Bristol, Survive accepts women, men and children from all over the UK into their refuges. They also run the Freedom Programme, a group project to help women to recover from their experiences and to educate them on how to recognise potential abusers.

    One In Four
    Their name refers to the fact that as many as one in four adults has experienced sexual abuse while they were under the age of 18. They offer a high range of support to adult survivors, including long-term therapy and workshops, helping them to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into their local communities.

    Join us in challenging society with our #BREAKFREE campaign – we’re dedicating this week to the discussion of violence against women – and the way we talk about those who have experienced it.

    Join the #BREAKFREE discussions on Twitter and Instagram @marieclaireuk

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