Who we are
We are Living Without Abuse, a domestic abuse and sexual violence charity that covers Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland - last year we supported 2,699 adults and 2,228 children. We provide a helpline, 121 counselling, group support, education programmes for schools, practical advice about leaving an abusive situation, play therapy for children affected by abuse, programmes for teenagers and much more. You can find out more about us on our website: www.lwa.org.uk
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives and with the lockdown there has been a massive increase of domestic abuse in all its forms (physical, emotional, mental, financial etc) - our charities work is more vital than ever.
What is our Befriending Service?
Our Befriending Service was set up during the first lockdown to provide emotional support those who are waiting for other support. Unfortunately due to case load sometimes we can't see Service Users straight away, so the Befriending Service is key to keeping in contact with them and providing a friendly, understanding, non-judgemental listening ear.
The Befriending Service supports adults, both male and female, who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence. We support service users who are currently on the waiting list for other LWA services or those who have finished services within LWA. At any one time, our Befrienders will support between 50 – 60 clients. Since the service started in May 2020, we have received over 400 referrals to date.
The Befriending Service is invaluable to those who access it as it offers much needed emotional support and a chance for service users to ‘offload’. The service is essential in helping to support service users who are waiting for another service as it allows them to keep in contact with our service and helps them to feel supported. Our Befrienders are also able to establish if there is any increased risk with service users, which can be reported to the relevant service. As such, we can allocate a worker more quickly to service users where their level of risk has increased. This allows us to ensure that service users’ safety is dealt with in a timely manner.
Here are some of things that service users have said about the Befriending Service:
- They were very helpful, and it was nice to have someone to check on you
- The call were good, encouraging and someone to talk to. Exceptional service
- The service was brilliant, very grateful. Thank you