Interview with Wythenshawe Safespots, a user-led domestic abuse organisation

Today we are very proud to launch what will be a regular feature of our work: interviews with organisations doing important work on the ground in Manchester. Some will be “environmental” others will not. If you have skills that an organisation says it needs, please contact them (no need to come through us). These organisations run on the whiff of an oily rag, and will appreciate help.

First up, a domestic abuse charity in South Manchester, Safespots.

What is Safespots? When, why and how did it start?

Wythenshawe Safespots is a user led domestic abuse organisation based in South Manchester.

The organisation was founded in 2016 by local survivors of domestic abuse who wanted to help other women, who like them, had experienced abuse by providing a local centre where they could access help, support and friendship.

Safespots is more than just a centre, it is a place in the community where you can find information, help and advice. Information about domestic abuse should be easy to access and people should not be afraid to talk about it.

Safespots drop in centre, located in the heart of Wythenshawe, provides a friendly non-judgemental and confidential service for women.

In the last couple of years, what have been its main developments/achievements?

Since 2016, Safespots has supported over 3000 women who have experienced domestic abuse.

We have worked hard to develop and maintain strong community partnerships; making it possible for us to provide a comprehensive package of support to the women who access our service.

In 2020 we were proud to achieve charitable status.

What do you wish people with no lived experience of domestic violence understood about it?

That domestic abuse is not just physical violence.  Coercive and controlling behaviour also has a devastating impact on the lives of survivors and their children.

Additionally,  we often hear women’s frustrations around friends and relatives asking “why do you not just leave?”.  This is can be extremely upsetting and is not helpful.  Often the women we support have thought about or attempted to leave their abusive partner many times in the past.  Planning to leave an abusive relationship and the period shortly after leaving can be the most dangerous time for survivors.  We would always advise encouraging women who may be thinking about leaving an abusive relationship to contact a specialist domestic abuse organisation like Wythenshawe Safespots for advice around leaving safely.

 

What next for Safespots? How can people support it?

We have been continuing to support women during lockdown but as restrictions ease we will be expanding our staff team to provide more face-to-face support sessions.  We also hope to provide extra group sessions focussing on healthy relationships, confidence building, yoga and meditation.  In April we will be rolling out a domestic abuse awareness programme to the women in our community.

As a small charity we are always looking for organisations and individuals to support us.  We are very grateful when people donate or raise money on our behalf.  We wouldn’t have been able to support as many families as we have if it wasn’t for the generous donations from within our community.  If anyone would like to support us in whatever way they can we would love for them to get in touch on 07873889637 or email us at info@safespots.org.uk

 

Anything else you want to say?

If you or anybody you know need support, we are here to help. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday 10am-5pm, give us a call to find out more about our services. Face to face emergency appointments can be arranged by calling the Safespots helpline number 07873889637 or email us at info@safespots.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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