New domestic abuse project comes to Waveney

A new project has been set up for victims of domestic abuse in Waveney, to provide women living in rural areas with emotional support.

The workshop 'change it' and course 'new pathways' has been organised by the charity Family Action and is for women, with or without children, who have experienced a violent or abusive relationship.

Leading the project is rural domestic abuse worker Stacey Richards, a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner who has worked with victims for almost 20 years.

She said: 'Lots and lots of women I have worked with have said if they leave an abusive relationship they get help with things like housing but they don't get any emotional help.

'Although victims get the practical help in so many areas, if we don't get them the emotional help they need they may fall back into old routines and go back to, or start up new relationships with an abusive partner. It's the woman herself who also needs help to look at herself and re-address things. The course is to help them start a new pathway.'

The one-day 'change it' workshop will focus on giving victims ideas on how to give their life new direction while the five-week 'new pathway' course will take the form of a structured support group that aims to give women the opportunity to focus on their needs, dreams, goals and plans. They will also receive support dealing with their experiences and learn about how to help children that are affected.

Miss Richards said: 'The course will look at what we think of abusive relationships and what we might have wanted to achieve as teenagers. It will also focus on emotions, behaviour types and the effect it has on children.

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'Hopefully the members of the group will then start up their own peer groups and support each other – there's no one better to talk to than those who have gone through it.

'If the workshop and course is successful we hope to keep it going.'

The 'change it' workshops will take place next Wednesday at 10am in Beccles and next Thursday at 1pm in Halesworth.

'New pathways' will run from January in Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Southwold and Reydon with a group of between six and eight women for two to three hours a week.

Founded in 1869, Family Action has been providing services to disadvantaged and socially isolated families across England and has worked with over 45,000 children and families a year by providing practical, emotional and financial support.

All Family Action services are developed and delivered through a variety of partnerships – with children, parents, other voluntary and community groups and statutory services including social care, health, schools and housing

The free 'change it' and 'new pathways' project is being funded by the Lankelly Chase Foundation, an independent charitable funder that operates across various areas of society.

• For more information call Miss Richards on 07825 188649 or email

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