Our Vision and Purpose
Women and children are at the hear of our vision. We believe that violence against women & children is a violation of human rights and work to ensure that they can live free from violence, abuse and fear.
We achieve this through the way we work:
- We challenge the inequality and abuse that result from women’s position in society, providing services and resources that unlock women’s power and enable them to regain their confidence and skills to achieve their aspirations.
- We listen to women and children and validate their experiences, working alongside them to champion their voices in influencing professional practice and increasing understanding of the dynamics of abuse. In particular, we advocate that the best way to protect children and attain sustainable safeguarding is to empower and support the non-abusing mother.
- We match women’s bravery in living with and addressing abuse through a staff team equipped to work with courage and creativity, embracing challenges and doing the difficult things necessary to meet women, children and young people’s needs in an increasingly harsh climate.
What we do
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid supports women and children affected by gender-based abuse including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation and forced marriage. We believe that women and children have the right to live free from violence, abuse and fear. We provide:
- A helpline
- Community-based and central drop-in services
- Safe, emergency accommodation through six refuges
- Home options hub
- Outreach support in the community
- Help with criminal and civil legal proceedings
- Family support
- Training for professionals including the Police, Heath, Social Care and Education
- Awareness raising work with children and young people
We work in close partnership with agencies such as housing and the police to ensure the best outcomes for women and their children. Our one-to-one, tailored support services deliver long-term, positive outcomes for women and their children by addressing all of their needs including poverty, debt, homelessness, housing, legal issues, health and well being.
Learn more about our History
How we do it
We are often asked about how we manage to achieve a trusting and lasting relationship with women that lead to such positive outcomes.
The effectiveness of how we work stems from our strong values; our robust evidence base; our innovation; our dedicated needs-led and person-centred experience. Our services are often life-saving and have a long term impact on women and children’s safety and self-empowerment because:
- We are independent and needs-led: We are able to work to what women and children need, as well as when and where they need it. We give women space for action: we recognise that there is a pattern of control and through our empowering approach we enable women to talk about the violence and abuse they have experienced.
- We are a woman only service: creating a safe space, both physically and emotionally. Evidence tells us that in women-only spaces, women and children are less marginalized and isolated and feel more able to express themselves. Women feel supported, develop confidence and achieve greater independence and higher self-esteem (WRC, 2009).
- We reach into Birmingham and Solihull’s communities with culturally sensitive services that target the most marginalized and excluded: 53% of service users and 54% of BSWA staff are from BME communities.
- We are specialist and have gained specialist knowledge and skill: for the past 40 years, violence against women is all that we do. We both contribute to and learn from research and practice based evidence. We understand abuse as Violence Against Women: 90% of women using our services have experienced multiple forms of abuse. We understand male violence to be about power and control and we enable women to locate the responsibility firmly with their abuser.
- We provide a broad range of integrated, violence against women services through our Hub, enabling women and children to step up and step down to services as their needs dictate.
We are a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee, the details of which are on the Governance page.