Anawim is running an early intervention diversion project called New Chance. It is for women who have been referred directly by the Police for support, they have to have been arrested less than 5 times and have no prior convictions. A referral to New Chance may form part of a conditional caution. This way they avoid getting a criminal record.
It is run at the Anawim centre, which has other services that support vulnerable women, with multiple and complex needs. The types of support that they offer are, counselling, debt advise, therapeutic programmes and referrals to other support agencies all under one roof for women to get the maximum benefit out of their visits to the Anawim centre. 124 women have now been referred in the first 3 quarters.
Recent Cases have shown high levels of issues with benefits and debt and surprisingly high incidents of domestic abuse.
One woman wrote
“I’m writing this letter regarding the support at Anawim. I have been using the services since July 2016. At this time I was in a terrible place mentally and had no hope. After years of trauma and endless support workers from various place I can honestly say I have never experienced such warmth and support that I have here at Anawim. It helped me so much, having the support when I needed it the most is the reason I am where I am today. I had the support through the hardest part in my life. From support throughout my court case down to support with my health. Jas and Rowanne believed in me even when I couldn’t believe in myself. They understood my emotions and guided me on the right path. My whole outlook on life and who I was changed. I addressed my emotions and now I can handle situations a lot better. My confidence has grown and I now value and respect myself a lot more. I can manage my anxiety better that what I could, thanks to Anawim I now have faith that I can lead a life made of good choices and be where I want to be, I wouldn’t have got through court without the support. I’m forever grateful. I now want to help women who have survived domestic violence and tell my story to help people. Thanks to Anawim I now have the opportunity to get this path and I’m meeting with someone from BVSC to discuss and opportunity to do this. I’ve turned my life around and the life skills as well as all the support and positive feedback I have had from my support workers I will hold with me forever.”
She has now gone on to volunteer at another project.