Who is this for? The Women's Centre Cornwall provides face-to-face support to women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual or domestic violence or abuse.
What is it? Our female-only Volunteer Support Workers and Complex Needs Workers provide social and emotional support and advocacy to women and teenage girls on a one-to-one basis. We offer a safe women only space for you to express your feelings and, whilst we cannot ‘make it all better’, we will listen and believe and never judge you.
You are initially offered up to 26 support sessions during which you can explore, understand and express the effects the abuse has had on your life. This awareness helps you create a healthier life for yourself, with healthier coping strategies.
Your support worker will go at a pace very much led by you and at no point will she force you to talk about anything you are not ready to.
It is not always an easy process and it is possible you may feel worse before you feel better. Your support worker is there to help you through but it is you that has to do the hard work, sometimes accessing emotions and feelings that you may have needed to suppress to survive. This may at times be very uncomfortable but your worker is there to support you and help you understand what is going on for you.
The support will not make the abuse go away: nor will it take away the memories of it. It will, however, enable you to work through your thoughts and feelings so that you can accept what has happened and live with it as part of your life, without being overwhelmed by it.
The service The Women's Centre Cornwall provides is not a counselling service. Our Volunteer Support and Complex Needs workers are experienced in working with women who have survived different forms of abuse and intimidation, at different times in their lives. They have all attended our specialist, accredited 12-week training programme which leaves them self-aware, knowledgeable, non-judgemental and with a great insight into the impact of sexual violence and coping mechanisms of survivors.
Where is it available? The Women's Centre Cornwall offers face-to-face support in Mid, East and North Cornwall. We have purpose-built support rooms at our centre in Bodmin but also provide an outreach service if you are not able to get to us easily.
Tell me more? The Women Centre Cornwall offers a woman-centre empowerment model of support which enables you to restore your sense of personal power.
We do this by:
- creating a culture of belief
- ensuring you feel in control of the support you need
- providing information, advice and exploring options rather than encouraging particular actions
- recognising both the harm of victimisation and the resources needed to survive it
- encouraging you to locate the blame for your abuse where it belongs: with the perpetrator
- validating what you have done to survive (your coping strategies)