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The Refuge offers a free and confidential counselling service provided by professionals who have specialist knowledge within the field of domestic abuse.  Our counselling service can help women to recognise the areas where autonomy has been lost due to domestic abuse.  It can also help to develop self-esteem, healthy coping strategies and reduce stress and anxiety.  Abuse can occur in many areas of a women’s life e.g. emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, financial, this can have lasting effects such as sleeplessness, depression, panic attacks.

Emotional support and counselling
All women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse will need emotional support of some kind, but these needs will vary. We believe all women need to be listened to with respect and without being judged when they choose to talk about their experiences.   Some women may benefit from counselling  – though not usually while they are still living with their abuser or immediately after escaping from the abuse and/or violence, when physical safety and practical issues are likely to be of greater concern.  Our Refuge Support Workers’ are trained and available to be able to provide this level of support.

However, if you decide you would like some counselling, the following information may help you:
Counselling is a two-way relationship, in which the counsellor listens to whatever you want to say, in confidence and without making judgements.
Counsellors are not supposed to give advice, but they may ask questions or gently challenge you in ways which may help you to look more carefully at some of the assumptions you may have taken for granted e.g. you may feel at fault in some way for the abuse you experienced.
Usually you will have regular sessions, for an hour or slightly less, each week or every two weeks.
The aim of counselling is to help you understand yourself better and come to terms with what has happened to you.
Good counselling will help you to break away from past abusive relationships and work towards living in a way which is more satisfactory and fulfilling for you. It can also help you to build up your self esteem.
However, counselling is not for everyone – and you have to decide whether it is right for you and whether this is the right time for it.

For more information about Emotional Support and Counselling, please contact us.

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Domestic Violence is any form of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse which is used to gain power and control over the other person in an intimate relationship.

Women often say emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse as it leaves no visible scars, is difficult to prove and can be very damaging.

Children living with domestic violence can also suffer in a variety of ways; either by witnessing violence itself, by being used as emotional pawns or indirectly by the stress suffered by their mother.


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