Advance, the sector-leading charity that supports women experiencing domestic abuse and those in the criminal justice system, has conducted research looking at the prevalence of poor mental health experienced by those supported by Advance across their services in the past year.
During the year ended 28th February 2023, 64% of the 2,578 women and girls asked, said that they had mental health concerns, which is a noticeable increase to the previous year in the proportion of women with mental health concerns.
The research found that, of the respondents engaged with Advance’s domestic abuse services, 58% said that they were feeling depressed or having suicidal thoughts.
Niki Scordi, CEO of Advance said:
“We cannot continue to let women and girls down. It is imperative that we not only record suicide attempts linked to domestic abuse but put them at the heart of the government’s mental health strategy and service provision, providing the investment and resources in our communities to ensure no woman or girl is left with no other choice but suicide. We want women to be safe.”
Through its national network of Women’s Centres, Advance delivers holistic, trauma-informed, specialist support and advocacy, and group interventions to support women and children survivors of domestic abuse, including those in contact with the criminal justice system.
Advance’s eight Women’s Centres across London, the South and East of England, provide safe spaces in local communities both in person and virtually, responding to women and children’s diverse needs.
Advance calls for the following action
- A Government review of women’s deaths resulting from self-harm, including suicides and overdoses, who are in contact with statutory services, those who are survivors of domestic abuse, including in contact with the criminal justice system.
- Access to longer-term community support and safe spaces, by funding specialist services for all women and children domestic abuse survivors, putting an end to the postcode lottery and ensuring we meet the needs of survivors nationally.
- Mental health specialist support and counselling funded for all women and children domestic abuse survivors.
Linda, a woman supported by Advance’s West London Women’s Centre, when asked about her mental health following support from Advance and attending groups and the Women’s Centre, replied
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- Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society. The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and take control of their lives, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
- As well as providing direct support, Advance works with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the issues these women face.
- Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get Help
- For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our Impact