Lewisham Children & Family Centre

We are open and running a limited number of sessions from our centres.

See the Timetable Page for more information.

 

 

Domestic Abuse – Help and support for you and your family

What is abuse?

Everyone has arguments, and everyone disagrees with their partners, family members and others close to them from time to time. And we all do things at times that we regret, and which cause unhappiness to those we care about. But if this begins to form a consistent pattern, then it is an indication of domestic violence and abuse.

If you are not sure whether this applies to you, there is a helpful questionnaire to complete on the Women’s Aid website:

If you are in immediate danger call 999.


Keeping safe
Recognising that you are being abused is an important step. Where you go from here is up to you. You may feel you need time to think about your situation. Or perhaps you have already made up your mind to leave. Whatever you decide, your safety and that of your children is always the priority.


Help and support for you and your family

You are not to blame, you are not alone and help is available. If you or your children have been affected by domestic abuse, there are a range of services that can help you and your family.

We offer 1:1 family support in your home or in the community, we can help you access specific domestic abuse services such as Athena (see below) and a range of group activities within our own Centres.

Our 2 main programmes are:

  • Freedom programme – a group for women who are at risk, have experienced or are experiencing Domestic Abuse.
  • Children Overcoming Domestic Abuse (CODA) Programme – a therapeutic programme for children of all ages which also supports mothers (this can be delivered through an age-based group in a children’s centre or on a 1:1 basis in school, home or in a children’s centre)

If you would like to access family support, get help with accessing Athena or other domestic abuse services or you would like to attend one of our programmes, please do contact us and self-refer via our confidential email Lewisham.Secure@eyalliance.org.uk

 

About ATHENA

The Athena service, run by Refuge, provides confidential, non-judgmental support to those living in the London Borough of Lewisham who are experiencing gender-based violence.

They can help you to:

  • Talk to someone who understands what you are going through
  • Receive support with contacting the police
  • Move away from the area
  • Access a refuge
  • Stay at home, but want to find out how you can keep safe
  • Receive support if you are considering going to court
  • Access legal advice
  • Manage your financial situation

If you are in Lewisham, call the Athena Service, run by Refuge, on 0800 112 4052 or email lewishamvawg@refuge.org.uk


We have put together some questions we are frequently asked about the programmes we run, if you have any more questions or would like to sign up for one of our courses please email Lewisham.Secure@eyalliance.org.uk

 

Q: What does the CODA Programme seek to achieve?

A: The CODA Programme is a twelve-week therapeutic programme for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. It seeks to enable the recovery process and aims to:

  • Validate the children’s experiences.
  • Reduce the self-blame that is commonly associated with children experiencing abuse.
  • Develop a child-appropriate safety plan.
  • Manage appropriate and inappropriate expressions of emotion.
  • Enhance to mother-child relationship.
  • Enable both the mother and child to heal together.

 

Q: How are the groups structured?:

A: The CODA Programme runs for twelve weeks with the women and children’s sessions running concurrently and each week focusing on a specific theme. The children’s sessions are also divided into age-specific groups and both the women’s sessions and the children’s sessions follow the same structure every week in order to provide a sense of continuity. This may include the following:

  • Check-In
  • Discussion
  • Activity
  • Check-Out

Q: Are there any criteria that make women and children ineligible for the programme?

A: Due to the CODA Programme being a recovery programme, we do not accept referrals where the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator is still residing in the family home. We also do not accept referrals where children are on Child Protection Plans. We, as a service, are committed to ensuring that women and children receive the right support at the right time so please do contact Lou Neville-Ball, Family Services Officer, on 07964350616 to discuss alternative support that may be available locally.

 

Q: Are you currently delivering virtually?

A: Yes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have turned our attention to delivering the CODA Programme virtually via Zoom. We have ensured that the necessary precautions have been taken in order for delivery to take place safely online.

 

Q: What is the Freedom Programme and what does it seek to achieve?

A: The Freedom Programme was designed by Pat Craven and is for women who are experiencing or surviving domestic abuse. It usually runs for eleven or twelve weeks (but this may vary depending on your locality) and aims to:

  • Provide women who are experiencing or surviving domestic abuse with a safe, supportive and friendly environment.
  • Allow women to recognise the tactics and behaviours of ‘the dominator’ – that is, the tactics that typify a perpetrator of domestic abuse.
  • Give women the opportunity to build connections with other women.

 

Q: How are the groups structured?:

A: The Freedom Programme focuses on a different theme each week based on the types of tactics that a perpetrator uses – ‘the dominator’. ‘The dominator’ is then contrasted with a non-perpetrating partner, ‘the Saint’, in order for the women to reflect through structured discussion.

 

Q: Are you currently delivering virtually?

A: Yes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have turned our attention to delivering the Freedom Programme virtually via Zoom. We have ensured that the necessary precautions have been taken in order for delivery to take place safely online.

If you would like to access family support, get help with accessing Athena or other domestic abuse services or you would like to attend one of our programmes, please do contact us and self-refer via our confidential email Lewisham.Secure@eyalliance.org.uk

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