Lauren's Story:

"I first became aware of SAFE after leaving a domestically abusive relationship and relocating from London back to Exeter. A friend of mine had attended Pattern Change and suggested I look into it.

I self-referred on to Pattern Change and was lucky enough to be accepted on the next course, and that 14 weeks totally changed my life for the better, I was able to be in a healthier headspace and not return to my previous relationship. Being with like-minded, strong, courageous women was so empowering. 

A few years on I decided I would like to change my career and become a counsellor; specialising in victims of domestic abuse. I never forgot what a saviour SAFE and their Pattern Change course was for me, so I contacted them to see about volunteering. I started on an intensive 10 week accredited training course with other like-minded passionate volunteers. Since completing my training I have had the pleasure of assisting with their web design, fundraising and events and supporting clients though the Finding Your Voice Programme. 

SAFE is a wonderful and fulfilling place to work, the staff do amazing work to support clients and families through a truly unbalanced time. I enjoy all that I do with and for SAFE there is a real sense of team work and giving back to people that so desperately need support."

Rosie's Story

“As a retired nurse and counsellor, I was in the fortunate position to offer my services as a volunteer for SAFE. Working as a counsellor, I was aware of how frequently the issue of domestic abuse was brought into the counselling sessions and I started to take a particular interest in it and attended several courses on and around the subject. 

When I contacted SAFE they had just put in place a training programme for volunteers. It all seemed to fit into place. I have to say it was one of the best courses I have attended and although I thought I knew something about domestic abuse , I was amazed at how much more I learned and how passionately  I wanted to do something to help.

I am helping with Finding Your Voice where I am in touch with women who have managed to leave an abusive relationship and need practical and emotional support. The courage of these women is staggering; to leave is so hard and anyone who doubts the reasons for women staying, or indeed going back to abusive partners, just put yourself in their shoes for a minute. 

I have been completely inspired by the women I have met and the things I am learning about domestic abuse. For example two women a week are killed by their partners. We need to continue to talk about domestic abuse and try and see it from the victim's point of view.“

  

If you would like to volunteer your time just like Lauren and Rosie, then please don't hesitate to get in touch. Email Sarah Richards [email protected]