Project Supports Individuals to Thrive
Behind Closed Doors empower individuals affected by Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) to make informed choices that enable them to break the isolation and overcome the resulting damage, so that they can rebuild their lives.
With Leeds Community Foundation support, they were able to assist individuals aged 16-30 with who have been negatively impacted by their experiences, providing support with further education, training and employment.
- In a nutshell, could you tell us what your Leeds Community Foundation funded project involves?
We have been able to continue our Prevention & Recovery Service (PARS) and specifically our work with clients whose violent and abusive relationships have negatively impacted on their ability to gain or retain employment, education or volunteering.
We’ve supported a number of clients to disclose their domestic abusive and its impacts to their employer, who have then been able to provide additional support. A number of clients have been able to return to or start employment thanks to the emotional support PARS offers.
- Why is this kind of support so vital, what’s the need and what might be the situation if the support you offer didn’t exist?
The work of the PARS is unique across Leeds, providing 121 emotional support in the community to those affected by domestic violence and abuse unable to access support in any other way. Due to 121, holistic nature of our work, we are able to help clients in a variety of ways, empowering them to make positive choices for their future, and advocating on their behalf particularly with employers.
Many said that without PARS support they would have been unable to manage at work, and would have been unable to take on the additional hours that were needed to support their family.
- Could you share a rewarding moment you’ve had so far? Is there a particular story you could share from a beneficiary you’ve helped?
Most of our clients are no long in their abusive relationship, yet still experiencing the daily impacts on their well-being, confidence and ability to hold down employment. That was Phoebe’s story, separated from her ex but still being harassed by him. Before working with PARS, if Phoebe received messages from her ex, she said it would knock her for days and she would be unable to work. Now, after understanding more about the cycle of abuse and building her confidence, his messages don’t have the same impact. She is able to go to work, even taking on more shifts.
- What made you apply for a Foundation grant, what difference has the funding from the Foundation made?
This funding has, in part, allowed us to continue the work of the PARS and work with almost 250 clients since April 2019. The majority of these clients have had their needs fully met by the service, allowing them to cope, recover and move on from their domestic violence and abuse experiences.