“They helped me to regain my confidence and rebuild my life”
“Lots of organisations sit around and talk about it; BCWA are out there doing the work”
BCWA (Black Country Women’s Aid, formerly known as Sandwell Women’s Aid) is a leading regional charity which supports victims of abuse and violence across the West Midlands. Their sensitive, holistic services each year help over 9,000 victims of abuse to escape from violence, cope with trauma and rebuild their lives. They place victims’ voices at the heart of their work and they constantly develop their services in response to needs in their communities.
From the establishment of their first refuge 30 years ago, BCWA have grown into a diverse organisation which works across Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. Their services include support for both adult and child victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, exploitation and international human trafficking, and women in the criminal justice system. BCWA is a female-led organisation with a number of dedicated women-only services and a majority female client base across all services.
BCWA established the original Mariposa Project, the first dedicated support for female offenders in Sandwell and Dudley, in 2012. Since then they have grown their support services in this area and continue to seek ways to improve and fill gaps to help support women as holistically as possible. Their female offender services now include:
The Mariposa Project: a dedicated service for female offenders provided in partnership with Staffordshire and West Midlands CRC, operating across Birmingham, Sandwell and Dudley. Women are referred into the programme by the CRC and participate in a range of programmes.
The New Chance Project: an early intervention project providing holistic support for women arrested who meet certain criteria and are referred by the police. It covers Sandwell and Dudley. They deliver this project alongside partners Anawim, who deliver in Birmingham.
Voices: a pilot project in partnership with Sandwell Youth Offending Services, providing a trauma informed programme intervention for young women. ‘Voices: A Program of Self-Discovery and Empowerment for Girls’, written by Dr. Stephanie Covington, is an 18-session programme addressing trauma as a result of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; physical neglect, or exposure to domestic violence.
BCWA provide their female offender services from three dedicated centres; Birmingham Cedar Centre, Sandwell Cedar Centre, and Dudley Cedar Centre where support is also offered with other issues such as domestic and sexual violence.
Advice and Support / Domestic Violence services / Health and Wellbeing / Women's Centre /