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.
“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:
Our work around domestic abuse is integrated into residential, community and outreach services.
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.
The DiVa project
Download publications about current and past projects below.
DiVa is a confidential space for young women who are experiencing difficult relationships - or who have experienced difficult relationships in the past - to talk and get advice.
"I travelled all the way from [west London] to come back to the DiVA group because the other mothers can understand me and not judge me." DiVa participant
The DiVa Group meets 10am - 12 noon Thursdays.
About 'Caring Dads'
Caring Dads is a group intervention programme aiming to help fathers improve their relationship with their children. The work focuses on developing skills for interacting 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.