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The Haven


The Haven Wolverhampton supports women and dependent children who are vulnerable to domestic violence, homelessness and abuse.

Set up in 1973, The Haven Wolverhampton is a charitable organisation which provides both practical and emotional support services to women and children who are affected by domestic violence and homelessness. The Haven Wolverhampton is one of the largest refuge providers in the UK.

The Haven Wolverhampton’s vision is for all women and children to live in a society free from oppression, homelessness, violence and abuse, and to promote and uphold human rights.

How Can We Help?

  08000 194 400

The Haven Wolverhampton offers a 24 hour domestic abuse helpline for vulnerable women & children in need of advice or support. The helpline is operated by trained professionals & is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our helpline offers women the opportunity to speak anonymously & in complete confidence about their experiences of abuse.

Helpline staff can also advise callers on other support services outside The Haven Wolverhampton & have established links with partner organisations including Social Services, Housing Services, the Police & other domestic violence support services providers such as Women's Aid & Refuge.

If you or somebody you know is affected by domestic violence or abuse call The Haven, Wolverhampton today on 08000 194 400*. In an emergency, always call 999.

* Calls to The Haven Wolverhampton helpline are free of charge from landlines. Mobile costs will vary according to your network provider. Helpline staff are able to call you back if required.

We provide 63 units of accommodation in secure locations across Wolverhampton to women and children who are affected by Domestic Abuse and/or Homelessness. We also offer emotional and practical support from trained support workers based at each refuge location.

Our refuges provide high standard quality accommodation which includes a communal kitchen, dining and living areas, private bedrooms, en-suite facilities, children’s play areas & facilities for disabled residents. We have 6 different refuges which are all slightly different and women are accommodated based on suitability of the accommodation and availability.

Women tell us that whilst you may feel concerned about communal living, this provides a place for women to interact with other women who have had similar experience but that women do also have private space for themselves to reflect and become stronger.

It is important for you to understand that on arrival, to be able to fully support and protect you we need to register you, this will entail some paperwork however we will endeavour to do this as quickly as possible.

If you require a safe place to stay, we can help you & your children. Please call the Helpline to discuss your needs. You will then be talked through your options and safety needs.

Resettlement:
The Haven's Resettlement Service is available to Haven service users both from within Refuge and Community, who need additional support in being resettled.

Our Outreach & Resettlement Support Worker is there to build a working relationship with you to enable a smooth transition from Refuge to Home and ensures that practical & emotional support, advice & guidance is offered at the highest standard.




Every woman and child experiencing Domestic Abuse has different needs. Not all victims of Domestic Abuse wish to access refuge accommodation. Some women may want to stay in their own homes or find alternative accommodation in the community.

The Haven provides a Community Advocacy Team service who offers support to help women devise safety plans, progress housing applications, and support with taking cases through the criminal justice system as well as accessing various community support services. The service also utilises the skills of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs)

An IDVA is a named professional case worker for domestic abuse victims whose primary purpose is to address the safety of ‘high risk’ victims and their dependent children. Serving as a victim's main point of contact, IDVAs work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop coordinated safety plans.

IDVAs are pro-active in implementing safety plans, which include practical steps to protect victims and their children, as well as longer-term solutions. These plans will include actions from the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC).

One of the key aims of the Community Advocacy Team is to empower female adult survivors through effective emotional support. The team work with clients to build trusting and professional relationships which women to move forward with their lives.

The Haven Wolverhampton Community Advocacy Support Team offers:

  • Assistance with establishing personal safety and security
  • Assistance in setting up and maintaining a tenancy
  • Information and support on housing rights and responsibilities
  • Information and support on welfare benefits, including how to access grants and loans
  • Assistance with accessing community services
  • Assistance in accessing legal advice and support with court appearances
  • Advice on training, volunteering and employment opportunities
  • Support to build self-confidence and social skills
  • Supporting skills development including budgeting, bill-payments and personal management

The Community Advocacy Team also deliver ‘drop in’ sessions which allow you to book 30 minute support sessions with a member of the team where you can discuss your experiences. We also provide access to Legal Advice drop in sessions where you can discuss legal matters with Solicitors from recognised firms across Wolverhampton. These sessions are designed to provide you with a brief and concise level of support.

Women are able to access the Community Advocacy service subject to meeting The Haven's eligibility criteria.

To make an enquiry about accessing support from the Community Advocacy Team call The Haven Wolverhampton 24 Hour helpline on 08000 194 400 or email: referralpoint@havenrefuge.org.uk

To support your child or young person in refuge accommodation we have a dedicated team of workers trained to help support your children in child friendly environments to come to terms with living in refuge accommodation.

Our workers understand the impact domestic abuse can have on the health and well-being of children and are there to work with your child to come to terms with their traumatic situation by using therapeutic techniques and resources, as appropriate, to minimise your child’s experience of domestic violence escalating into a crises.

We also:

  • Run ‘Me and Mom’ sessions for those families where relationships have become fragile due to having to flee family, friends, pets and the person causing the harm.
  • Offer non judge mental advice and guidance on how best to support your child and give you the means to access additional services if your CYP requires more specialist intervention during this difficult period.
  • Have good links with local schools and community based services and provide awareness raising and training in domestic violence so professional know the sign and symptoms and can help you and support your CYP.
  • Provide extracurricular leisure activities, during the holiday period and planned fun sessions during the term times.
  • Have a local Health Visitor who comes to Refuge, trained in domestic violence and will be able to give you specialist advice regarding your child’s care learning and development.
  • Enable children in our refuge accommodation to have a voice, participating in how services are shaped and give feedback on service delivery.

The Financial Empowerment Team support clients who have suffered from or are suffering from Financial & Domestic Abuse.

Financial abuse is a form of mistreatment in which an abuser forcibly controls a victim’s economic means. It can involve confiscating, rationing, stealing or withholding money; not allowing the victim to take part in any financial decisions; or even forcing the victim to quit their job. Financial abuse can also occur when one partner purposely accumulates large amounts of debt in their partner’s name. Financial abuse can often begin subtly and progresses over time. It can happen to anyone regardless of their income, education or independent success. Whilst it can be difficult for couples / families to navigate the complexities of household finances it is important to be aware that a healthy relationship should include open dialogue, communication and agreement to all financial matters. Many of those affected by financial abuse feel as though there is no means of escape. Particularly in the current economic climate victims feel they simply cannot afford to leave.

The Financial Empowerment Service includes a Debt Management Officer who is able to:

  • Provide face to face debt advice to clients being supported by The Haven Wolverhampton.
  • Delivering the ‘Moving on through Economic Empowerment’ Course to develop and enhance client skills in areas such as Budgeting, Saving, Employment and Housing.

The Financial Empowerment Service also now includes a Telephone Debt Advisor who is able to:

  • Provide a telephone based money and debt advice service to women who are vulnerable to domestic violence, homelessness and abuse.
  • Empower women to live financially independent lives, creating better futures for themselves and their children.
  • The Telephone Debt Adviser is available on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday’s from 10am – 2pm

At The Haven we recognise and understand that women who have experienced domestic abuse may require additional support.

We have highly dedicated and professional staff who work to sensitively address issues impacting both women’s and their children’s lives. This specialist support can include:

  • Women from a BME/Asian background
  • Female offenders
  • Women affected by Drugs and Alcohol
  • Women experiencing poor Mental Health

If you are considering leaving a violent relationship, it is a good idea to put a plan in place so that you are practically, emotionally and financially prepared. The following provides information on how to set up a safety plan. Please be aware that some of these options may be possible for you, some may not. Do not do anything that you feel could compromise yours or your children’s safety.

Before you leave
Consider creating an escape fund. This will be useful should you need to leave your home in a hurry, and will also prepare you should you need to access alternative accommodation for you and your children. You can create an emergency fund by putting aside small amounts of money that will not be missed by your partner and will not raise alarm.

In cases where you funds are controlled and you and your children are in danger, and need to leave immediately, there are a number of emergency funds you can access. This could include asking a friend, family member or someone you trust if there is a possibility of lending some money in case of an emergency. Alternatively, you can apply for a crisis loan from your local benefits office – for more information visit www.advice.org.uk .

Be prepared

The Haven Wolverhampton suggests the following:

  • Think of people you can trust in an emergency and let them know of your intentions. Make sure it is someone you feel sure you can rely on not to disclose any information perpetrator.
  • Alert your neighbour and ask them to call the Police should they become suspicious of any violent activity.
  • Talk to your children about your escape plan, teach them to call 999 and how to give their full name, address and telephone number should they need to use it in an emergency.
  • Make a list of important telephone numbers and addresses. These should include: your GP, local police station, social worker (if you have one), your solicitor, children’s school, local benefits office and local refuges.
  • Identify your nearest telephone box should you need to use it in an emergency
  • Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children and leave it with a friend or neighbour. This could include:
    • A supply of clothes and toiletries for you and your children
    • Any prescribed medication
    • Keys for your house, car and place of work (if possible you may wish to think about getting extra keys cut)
    • Some form of identification for you and your children such as your passport or birth certificate
    • Details of any benefits you are receiving
    • Pay slips
    • Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Cheque Books
    • Driving License and Car Registration details
    • National Insurance card or a copy of your National Insurance number
    • Documentation relating to the ownership of your home, mortgage or tenancy
    • Documentation of any household items that may belong to you
    • Details of any bills that are in your name
    • Details of any credit cards / loans that are in your name
  • If you are unable to access original documents, or you think your partner may notice that such documents are missing, you could take photocopies of the originals or alternatively note down the relevant reference numbers. To avoid any suspicion, The Haven Wolverhampton suggests gathering items for your escape over an extended period of time. Remember to leave your bag in a place where your partner is not likely to look for it, or alternatively ask someone you can rely on such as a friend or neighbour to keep hold of it until you are ready to leave.
  • When the time comes to leave be sure to know where it is you need to go – will it be at a friends, family member or refuge? Try to time your departure when your partner will not be around to avoid him/her trying to stop you. This could be whilst your partner is out of the house socialising or at work
  • If the last number you dialled was a taxi, refuge or the place you intend to travel to, dial another number – for example, the Speaking Clock (dial 123). Do not leave pieces of paper with names, numbers or addresses on them. Remember that writing can be imprinted through more than one page on a jotter/note pad.

Remember if you do not have time to follow the safety plan & find yourself in immediate danger call 999.

The Visual Evidence for Victims scheme allow people to have evidence of a crime recorded by a voluntary agency, so the victim does not have to go to the police. The Haven Wolverhampton is one such organisation that has joined this scheme.

A number of staff at The Haven Wolverhampton have been trained to use approved VEV cameras to record injuries that have been sustained as a result of domestic violence. The Haven staff are skilled in how to handle evidence so as to ensure that the process is secure and admissible in court.

If you have reported the crime to the police you do not need to use the VEV scheme.

Women’s Aid: www.womensaid.org.uk

Refuge: www.refuge.org.uk

Advice UK: www.adviceuk.org.uk

Police: 101 or 999 (in emergencies only)

Male DV Advice Line: 0808 801 0327

Broken Rainbow (Survivors of same sex abuse): 0300 999 5428

Recovery Near You (Support with substance abuse): 0300 200 2400

Forced Marriage Unit: 0207 008 0151

Housing Options (Homeless services): 01902 554 757

Victim Support: 0808 168 9111

Samaritans: 01902 426 422 (24 hours a day)

Citizens Advice Bureau: 01902 572 006

The Haven Helpline: 08000 194 400

  TRAINING

Rebecca Matthews is our Training Coordinator at the Haven Wolverhampton. Rebecca has significant experience of working directly with women who have experienced domestic abuse and worked in the sector for 17 years, trained for 6 years and is PTTLS qualified.

External Training - Training available to Voluntary Community Organisations and Community Groups, Domestic Violence Professionals, Safeguarding Managers, General Practitioners, Health Managers, Solicitors, Police, Teachers.

Domestic Abuse Awareness training is a four-hour session and provides an opportunity to learn and gain more understanding about the subject of Domestic Abuse.

The training programme will assist learners to:

  • Understand and distinguish the different forms of domestic abuse.
  • Know the social construction of stereotypes which lead to the acceptance of domestic abuse.
  • Understand the difficulties that victims face of domestic abuse.
  • Understand the relationship between power /control and abuse.
  • Understand how to access support services for victims / survivors.

Understanding Controlling or Coercive Behaviour is a three-hour session. The Training is an opportunity for professionals to:

  • Identify and establish what the term ‘coercive control’ means.
  • Provide guidance on how to ask the, ‘question’ recognise signs and offer support.
  • Understand when coercive controlling behaviour becomes an offence.

This can be provided at The Haven Wolverhampton Head Office or in a venue suited for your needs. I.e. Inset days, staff training days. £30 per delegate (course material, certificate and light refreshments are included)

For information and booking enquiries please email Rebecca Matthews at: rebecca.matthews@havenrefuge.org.uk or contact 01902 904677 ext. 4010


Appreciate Me Programme

The Haven Wolverhampton have developed a programme aimed at preventing young people (13 to 18-year-old boys and girls) from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships.

Our aim is to introduce young people to what is acceptable within a relationship and what is not acceptable. To understand what a healthy relationship is and what consent means within a relationship.

A donation or fundraising would be expected to cover staff costs and travel. For information and booking enquiries please email Rebecca Matthews at: rebecca.matthews@havenrefuge.org.uk or contact:
01902 904677 ext. 4010


Freedom Programme

The sessions run for nine weeks for two hours. In the session, we look at the freedom programme by Pat Craven. We work in small groups looking at the Dominator and his abusive behaviour which is not ‘normal’.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide information that will help you understand abuse.
  • Help you to recognise the beliefs held by abusive men.
  • Help build your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Provide the information in a confidential and safe environment.
  • Help you recognise future abusers and move on to abuse free lives.

It can be emotional but we are all there to support and empower each other.

To make a self-referral or refer please contact the Haven Wolverhampton 24-hour helpline 08000 194 400.


Peer mentoring

The Haven Wolverhampton offer Peer mentoring training for women who have experienced domestic abuse and feel that they are emotional ready to support other women to be a positive role model for the Haven Wolverhampton and can motivate and inspire women that are experiencing domestic abuse.

The training is a four-week programme for four hours a week, where they will work towards a national qualification which is Open College Network West Midlands Level Two: Peer Mentoring Skills.

The unit – Peer Mentoring Skills, will help you to understand:

  • How to establish a peer mentoring relationship.
  • How to be able to use correct communication skills in peer mentoring.
  • How to enable a woman to review progress.
  • How to develop your own peer mentoring skills.

For information and booking enquiries please email Rebecca Matthews at: rebecca.matthews@havenrefuge.org.uk or contact 01902 904677 ext. 4010

Women's Aid
Community Matters
Advice UK
Advice Quality Standard
the Fundraising Institute
the Open College Network

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