How to Access Support in Sheffield this Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

Accessing support as a Domestic Abuse victim can be one of the hardest things to overcome throughout the entire situation. It means admitting your experiences when denial may have been the most effective coping strategy, it means accepting the label of victim and, in turn, acknowledging that someone you trusted as a partner is a perpetrator.

It means being vulnerable, asking for help and feeling lost amidst a sea of criminal justice, family court, property and accountancy legalities. It means facing a barrage of victim blaming from professionals, and from loved ones whose ingrained patriarchal conditioning only serves as secondary abuse. It means being submerged in self-doubt, self-loathing, self-questioning – what was wrong with you? How could you not see what they were doing? Why didn’t you just leave? Alongside this, it means recognising that those type of questions are part of a victim blaming mentality that you yourself must overcome. Ultimately, it means that at some point you will have to submit yourself to the possibility of professional help. This may come immediately after the fact, or it may take years before you realise that the violations you experience have taken a toll, and that you are worthy of support.

And, when you reach this point of realisation, you will find that support services are few and far between. Those in urban areas will be at a geographical advantage over those in more rural areas. Whilst mainstream services are not exclusive by rule, those who are white, cis, heterosexual and able-bodied will find support services more physically, emotionally, culturally and linguistically accessible. Those with financial stability may be able to overcome long waiting lists for counselling, and navigate legal justice systems at a faster and less harrowing rate.  You may also already have a deep and legitimate distrust in institutions, which makes stepping through the door or picking up the phone hurdle in and of itself. You may have been subjected to institutional racism from the police, gaslighted by GPs, dismissed by the CPS and made to feel like you as an individual, or your case as a domestic abuse victim, is not worthy enough of support. Imposter syndrome may be telling you that your situation isn’t that bad, that others have it worse. You may have already attempted to seek help in the past but did not have the capacity to engage, creating a fear of asking for support again in case you were to be turned away. It takes a hell of a lot of self-worth and resilience (which is systematically diminished through victimisation) to make the next step.

So, if the prospect of a Google search into the available services seems too overwhelming, this post is here to hopefully make your research more concise and simple. Below is a directory of services in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire region. Whilst mental health provision nationwide is by no means perfect, hopefully in this list there will be a service which caters to your direct and indirect domestic abuse needs.

Domestic Abuse Support Services

  • Apna Haq

    Regional service

    Practical and emotional support for Asian domestic abuse survivors, based in Rotherham

  • Changing Lives

    Regional and nationwide service

    Supports women and children who have suffered from childhood abuse and domestic abuse, based in Doncaster


    Nationwide service

    A national LGBTQ+ anti-violence charity offering advise and support from people who have experienced abuse

  • Roshni Asian Women’s Centre

    Regional service

    A resource centre run by and for South Asian women in Sheffield, including women suffering from isolation, domestic violence, depression and anxiety, older women and women with long term health conditions

  • Rotherham Rise

    Regional service

    Provides help and support for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual exploitation

Mental Health Support Services

  • No Panic Sheffield

    Regional service

    Self help groups for those who have panic attacks, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD, GAD, and other related anxiety disorders including depression (18+)

  • Saffron

    Regional service

    Formerly Sheffield Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service. A specialist service providing free, confidential counselling and therapy services for women in Sheffield who have experienced abuse and/or trauma

  • Samaritans

    Regional and nationwide service

    24 hour, 365 day a year support for those who are experiencing feelings of distress and despair, including those which lead to suicide

  • Sheffield Mind

    Regional and nationwide service

    A national mental health charity providing advice and support to anyone experiencing mental health problems

  • TESS

    Regional service

    A text helpline for young women affected by self injury

  • VIDA Therapy

    Regional service

    Provides counselling and therapy to women who have experienced trauma from abuse

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