WE ARE HERE TO HELP Advance

Are you frightened of somebody or worried that they might harm you? Our specialist staff are here to listen to your concerns, over the phone, or face to face. We will support you no matter what you decide to do.

We can explain your legal rights, talk to the police for you, help you get to safer housing or even attend court with you.

You can call Advance today on

020 8741 7008


If you feel in immediate danger

call 999


Freephone 24 hour
National Domestic Violence Helpline

0808 2000 247

www.NationalDomesticViolenceHelpline.org.uk


Foreign & Commonwealth Office Forced Marriage Unit

020 7008 0151

www.gov.uk/forced-marriage

You are not alone, you are not to blame. Leave your details below and we’ll contact you confidentially.

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“Advance made it easier for me – made me feel comfortable to access support”.

Confidentiality:

Our confidentiality policy states that we will not discuss your case with any other agency without your permission. However, if there are concerns relating to Child Protection issues or if you are at serious risk of harm, we would need to disclose this information to the relevant agencies to help safeguard yourself and your children.
We will only share information that is necessary and will do so in a respectful and safe way. You can read our full privacy policy here.

LEARN MORE Advance

  • What is domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

  • Spot the signs of domestic abuse

Spot the signs of domestic abuse

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“Advance supported me all the way through – even whilst I was in rehab, and right up to the end of the court process”.

CASE STUDIES

Sonia’s story of support

Sonia* was referred to one of our specialist workers called an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) based in A&E, by a Doctor from the Trauma Ward at St Mary’s hospital after trying to harm herself; she had sustained extensive injuries. Sonia disclosed to the IDVA that she was experiencing emotional abuse from her partner, who did not try to stop her from harming herself and was telling her that she would not be able to do it and that she would be too scared. It was also said that Sonia previously fled violence overseas from her parents. During her conversation with the A&E IDVA, Sonia confirmed what the Doctor had said, but she was also adamant that her relationship was not an abusive one and that her boyfriend was a “good guy”. She said she was missing him.

The IDVA explored what is an abusive/healthy relationship, discussing the dynamics of power and control, the techniques use by perpetrators. During the conversation with the IDVA Sonia started to get upset; she told the A&E IDVA that she could relate to nearly everything being described. Through conversation with the IDVA Sonia said that she never recognised it as domestic abuse. She began to disclose more and more information about the relationship. She said her partner was calling her names, undermining her and making her feel bad about herself. She also said that her partner was controlling; controlling everywhere she went, what she was did, who she met, who she spoke to on the phone and on Facebook. He stopped her from seeing her friends and from having her own phone – she had to use his when she needed one. Sonia explained that she was also doing all the cleaning and cooking and was buying him clothes to keep him happy and avoid arguments. Sexual intercourse occurred only when he wanted and the way he wanted – and he would make her feel bad when she didn’t want to have intercourse. The IDVA also discovered that Sonia was also at risk from her family; there were concerns that Sonia faced Honour-based Violence (HBV) and Forced marriage (FM) as her parents had discovered that she had a partner, lived with him and had a sexual relationship with him.

Advance completed a risk assessment; Sonia scored medium risk but the A&E IDVA used professional judgement and decided to treat the case as high risk due to multiple high risk factors in Sonia’s case. The IDVA liaised with the nurses in the ward to inform them about Sonia’s situation and raise their awareness around the risks and safety issues and asked them to monitor visitors. The A&E IDVA also worked with the Homeless discharge worker from St Mary’s hospital on housing options for Sonia. In addition, the A&E IDVA did extensive safety planning with Sonia around contact with her now ex-partner, as well as providing emotional support to Sonia throughout the process. As a result, Sonia’s level of safety increased. She got safe accommodation unknown to her family or ex-partner, gained a better understanding of her rights and options and of domestic abuse/ abusive relationships. She went on to receive ongoing support from local agencies to help get her back into work.

A new life with Advance (a survival story)

When I left my husband’s house the degree of violence I had to go through was unbelievable.   I was so stuck with no means of support from anyone. I had no one, no support, and I was 5 months pregnant. I had no awareness of my rights before I was contacted by ADVANCE. I was completely shattered – psychologically broken. I had no understanding of any support available out there for me but my doctor referred me to Advance. My husband beat me up, threatened me with a knife while I was pregnant – he wanted to leave me and get married to someone else. I wanted to leave but I had no where to go. I kept suffering until a wake up call, a last push that opened my eyes, gave me courage to come out of the house – that day I just left home and went to a coffee shop. My ex-husband followed me; he approached me and said the usual insults but then left. I was crying out and then I fainted – when I opened my eyes people were around me and there was an ambulance that took me to hospital. I was referred to Advance via the doctor at the hospital.

Advance then contacted me with an interpreter because I cannot speak English and from that point things changed in my life completely. They called me more or less everyday until things were okay and I was okay. ADVANCE gave me a new life – they guided me, gave me advice, made a referral to a solicitor who helped me with my immigration status, and helped me with housing. I realised that there was someone by my side – I just love… [Maternity IDVA]. I had been so lonely – I had nothing at all and I was thinking of terminating the baby and killing myself. Today, because of Advance support, I have a house, my residence permit, and my beautiful daughter is alive. All my life I will never forget what they did for me, and I will pray for Advance and… [Maternity IDVA] and their success.

I survived because of Advance and I cant thank Allah enough for introducing me to ADVANCE.