domestic violence

A powerful reminder of how we change people's lives

Here we talk to Clare* about her life growing-up. She tells us about reluctantly coming to our DIVA group for young mums affected by domestic abuse.

Clare was violent towards her own mum

After witnessing domestic violence as a child, she thought it was an acceptable way to behave, regularly attacking her mum as a teenager. Clare was referred to St Michael's by social workers when she had a baby 5 years ago. At the time she was 16 and being domestically abused by her long-term boyfriend but she couldn't see it or see herself as a victim.

Domestic Abuse

St Michael's is working hard to combat cycles of domestic abuse in young Lambeth families.

Domestic abuse in Lambeth

Lambeth has one of the highest rates of reported sexual violence in London. In one to one and focus groups, we find strong links between domestic abuse and gang culture, which is exceptionally high in Lambeth.

Isabelle's Story

Isabelle was 19, with a nine-month old daughter. Originally from Jamaica, she’d come to England as a 14-year old. Her dream was to be a legal secretary. But she’d attended a course where she had to hand in her passport, which she could not get returned. Her passport subsequently expired meaning that she had overstayed in the UK and her application for indefinite leave to remain had been turned down. Whilst she was appealing the decision, she lived with her mother and stepfather in a tiny room where her baby had no space to play.

DiVa 2016

“Outside of the group I reflected on my life and my past relationships. I’m learning not to be so trusting of people as I can’t let my child see her mother get abused.”

DiVa is a continuing project with young mothers in Lambeth affected by domestic abuse. Mothers support each other at a weekly facilitated peer support group, and are offered one to one support linking with local agencies. 

The outcomes we look for are:

The DiVa Project

The DiVa project supports women who are either experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.

Today the incidence of domestic abuse particularly in young people’s relationships is alarmingly high. 75% of the women we work with are affected by domestic abuse.

Caring Dads - helping fathers value their children

About 'Caring Dads'

Caring Dads is a group intervention programme aiming to help fathers improve their relationship with their children. It helps dads learn how to spend time with children in healthy ways, and understanding the impact on children of controlling, abusive and neglectful actions, which include witnessing domestic violence. The programme is evidence-based, was developed in Canada and has been refined over the last 10 years.