International humanitarian charity Penny Appeal has recently launched a Domestic Abuse Counselling Service for women in the Wakefield district. The Wakefield-based organisation has already successfully set up a similar provision in London, and is now bringing the service to its home city.
This new service will reach out to women over the age of 18 who have been affected by any kind of domestic, family or sexual abuse. Working with the council, statutory, voluntary and faith sectors, the service will receive referrals from professionals and organisations, as well as self-referrals from those who have been personally affected.
A team of trained, all-female counsellors will offer a safe, secure and confidential space for survivors to process their thoughts and feelings. Beneficiaries will initially receive up to 10 weekly therapy sessions, which can be further extended as necessary to meet their particular needs.
The new service is part of the wider strategy of Penny Appeal’s Domestic Abuse Unit, striving for early intervention, the education of communities, outreach and case work, alongside resettlement programmes and services, which the organisation aims to deliver across the UK.
Recently published evidence shows that violent crimes against women in England and Wales are reaching record highs, up by 10% from this time last year. While the Police in the UK respond on average to a domestic violence-related call every 30 seconds, domestic abuse often remains hidden. There can be a variety of reasons for this, including shame, stigma and feeling that there is no-one they can turn to for help. However, with prosecutions also on the increase, the Penny Appeal service comes in at a right time to provide timely and thoughtful interventions.
Adeem Younis, Chairman at Penny Appeal, comments, “We are dedicated to supporting hard to reach, disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, and taking a stand against domestic abuse is a key priority for our UK Programmes Department.
“Therapy plays a really important part in enabling abuse victims to heal from their experiences, and I’m extremely proud that our counselling service can be a platform to support and empower women.”