Safer Places (formerly known as Harlow Women’s Aid) has over 40 years’ experience in delivering holistic support services to adult and child survivors of Domestic Abuse across Essex and Hertfordshire.  Over the years we have grown and adapted our services to meet the needs of the communities we serve.  

Domestic abuse has both a devastating and radiating impact and affects the survivor and their families, friends, colleagues and communities. Our team take a non-judgemental and respectful approach to their work and we will do all that we can to ensure that everyone who needs our services can use them, how they want to, when they want to, and where they want to. Domestic abuse does not discriminate and happens in every community. We are proud to work inclusively with anyone who has experienced abuse and our services are designed to reach everyone impacted by abuse. To do this we offer a range of services and work collaboratively with our partners in a range of venues.

The support that we offer is holistic, trauma informed and individually tailored to each survivor as we know that although there are common behavioural patterns, not one experience is the same as any other  and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. We know that survivor’s needs are better met when they are involved in creating solutions as equals so our support is co-produced alongside survivors. Our highly qualified staffs are there to empower survivors, giving them the knowledge and confidence to choose the steps on their journey to recovery. Many go on to achieve things they once thought of as impossible. The foundations of our organisation were built by survivors – as were the foundations of one of our refuges.  A former project saw a number of survivors qualify as carpenters, bricklayers, painters, plasterers and amenity horticulturalists. The refuge now accommodates 10 families in separate self-contained flats built solely by survivors, for survivors.  

We recognise that if we are to see our vision materialise and help to create a world where everyone lives a life free from fear and abuse, we need to respond to abuse together, as one. Our training helps professionals and members of the community to recognise the signs of domestic abuse, understand the issues and respond quickly and effectively when a survivor chooses to access support. From short awareness sessions to full IDVA and ISAC qualifications we are committed to sharing our experience and what works to make more families safer.