We run a number of support groups for women in different locations around the city. The groups offer a safe space for you to meet others who have been through or are going through similar experiences.
Every week we talk through issues that affect our (and others’) safety and wellbeing. We know that women are the experts in their own situations and that with the right support women themselves will find the best way to move forward. We can offer advice and referrals for other support where it is needed.
We know it can be daunting and scary to come along to groups. We do everything we can to support you to feel comfortable coming along to groups or to find alternative support if this isn’t the right path for you.
Below is a step-by-step guide of what coming to our groups might be like. The drop-down boxes below also give more in-depth detail about groups.
24 Hour Helpline
0113 246 0401
Accessing our support and next steps
You can access this service by contacting the LDVS 24-hour helpline on 0113 246 0401, by emailing [email protected]. You can also ask any professionals you’re working with to refer you.
Once you’ve been referred to the support group one of the female group workers will get in touch with you in the way that you have said is safe for you.
We’ll spend time talking to you about the group, explaining how the group works, how to get there and what to expect once you arrive. We can arrange to meet you outside before you come into your first session so that you won’t have to come in by yourself.
The group is a safe space to explore issues, experiences and feelings. We look at a different topic every week for 14 weeks during term time. If after you’ve finished the course you feel like you need more support, we can talk about extending the sessions or looking for some alternative support.
“I no longer feel isolated. I have met women who understand me and what I am still going through. I look forward to group each week. I don’t feel ashamed of being open.”
“Before coming I was isolated and alone feeling like it’s my fault at times. Since coming to group I feel more positive, realizing its not my fault and I shouldn’t feel ashamed. I feel more positive and able to deal with my situation better”
Who will I work with?
We are a small team of two group project workers and you will work with one of us. The group will consist of women who have been affected by domestic violence and abuse.
Will anyone else know / be informed that I am working with this service?
You will be in charge of your information; you can decide who knows that you are working with the service. We will only speak to professionals with your consent.
I feel overwhelmed and worried about coming to group. How can you help?
We’ve got lots of experience of working with women and have listened to the things they’ve said about what makes it hard and overwhelming to come to group for the first time. We’ll spend time talking to you about the group, explaining how the group works, how to get there and what to expect once you arrive. We can arrange to meet you outside before you come into your first session so that you won’t have to come in by yourself.
We will do all we can to support you to feel comfortable coming to group. Alternatively, we can help you find other support if this doesn’t feel right for you.
What kind of topics will we talk about?
The group is a safe space to explore issues, it’s a place where there is no judgement, a place where you can share your experiences with other women, or just sit and listen.
We look at a different topic every week, looking at things like why women stay in abusive relationships, what makes it hard to leave and grief and loss following separation. We also do a lot of work around self-esteem and confidence building, because we understand that domestic abuse can take so much from you. We will work together to explore issues, experiences and feelings that have affected you and help you work them through with the support of your peers.
“Group gives me a comforting feeling, knowing that the women understand what you’ve been through. The group gave me the confidence, suggestions and ideas to help me support my children recover from the impact that it had on them. Every session is different and the group gives me comfort in knowing I’ve got somewhere to go once a week where I wont be judged”
How we can help
Click here to find out more about the different kinds of support Leeds Domestic Violence Service provides.
Click here to read stories of people who have worked with LDVS previously to find out more about their experiences.