Young women and girls who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse can now access specialist support from Citizen Coaching CIC, a leading provider of counselling and personal development services in Birmingham.

‘Hidden Voices’ has been launched by Citizen Coaching in direct response to the growing number of client referrals under 25 years old and the lack of appropriately designed services to meet their needs.

The project comes at a time when domestic abuse offences make up 10% of all crime recorded by West Midlands Police, and the likelihood of women and girls experiencing domestic abuse at some point in their lives is increasing. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales 2019, 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse in the last year, with young women aged under 25 experiencing the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group.

NSPCC statistics also show that as many as 1 in 5 children in the UK are witness or exposed to domestic abuse and are four times more likely to experience or perpetrate domestic abuse later in life.

Citizen Coaching is offering vulnerable women and girls aged 8 – 25 access to talking therapies in the form of one to one counselling as well as peer support groups to get the help they need to keep safe, recover from traumatic experiences and reduce the long term effects. Martin Hogg, Project Director, said:

“Our experience backed by wider evidence suggests that young people need a different response to adults. This group is often not as visible to services and through this new project we can put in place resources and approaches that understand the dynamics of domestic abuse for young female victims.”

Hidden Voices is funded by the Government’s Tampon Tax Fund, which is managed locally by Heart of England Community Foundation, the West Midland’s largest grant giving organisation.

Tina Costello, Foundation CEO, said:

“This funding supports the groups on the ground that are making a huge difference to the lives of women and girls. We know there is huge demand out there for these services and are proud to help small organisations working in our community to access vital public funding, which otherwise they may miss out on.

 

“We are delighted that Citizens Coaching CIC has been able to launch ‘Hidden Voices’ and we look forward to following the programme’s progress.”

The Hidden Voices project will run for one year and is particularly targeting the Ladywood area where local data shows a high prevalence of cases, although anyone living across Birmingham can access the support available.

To access support, call 0121 314 7075 or send an email to hello@citizencoaching.com. Referrals are also accepted from agencies and health professionals working with women and girls impacted by domestic violence in the family home or from an intimate partner.

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