Fife Women’s Aid provide a telephone support service during weekdays between 9am and 5pm, and an out-of-hours service from 6pm until 8am each week day evening and 24 hours and at weekends.
We provide support for women experiencing domestic abuse who are living in the community. Staff meet women at a safe and pre-arranged venue to provide support and advice which assists them to cope better should they wish to remain at home or receive support to leave their current situation.
Support can be emotional or practical, such as filling in forms, accessing furniture or contacting utility suppliers. We work with you to develop a support plan based on your individual needs.
We run a number of groups for women who would like to meet up with other women going through, or who have been through, similar experiences. These groups offer opportunities to try different activities, learn new skills or just have some time to talk and share experiences with other women.
If you would like to receive support in your home, please call us on our Freephone number 0808 802 5555.
A refuge is a self-contained flat or house where women and children who want to escape domestic abuse can stay.
It is a place where women can have time and space to make decisions about their life, free from fear and pressure.
Each refuge is self-contained which means you do not have to share with another family. Refuge is offered to single women and to women with children. We have refuges in various locations throughout Fife.
All locations of our accommodation are confidential and we aim to help you keep as safe as possible. If you feel that you need to leave the Fife area for your own safety, we can also help you to access refuge accommodation in other areas of the UK.
Some of our refuges are accessible for wheelchair-users and we have resources available for women who have hearing and sight impairments.
You can refer yourself to a refuge directly without having to contact someone else to do it for you, although some women are referred to Women’s Aid by agencies such as the police or social work.
All refuges are furnished to a high standard and fully equipped with bedding, kitchen utensils and a TV. You will also receive some basic food and toiletries when coming into refuge.
Once you are in a refuge, staff will be there to help you settle in to the accommodation and start planning for the future. Your decisions will always be respected, and the aim is always to help you find ways to be safe – and feel safe.
The amount of support you receive will be based on your individual situation and needs. You will have a keyworker who will meet with you on a one to one basis to offer support and advice on various topics, including securing permanent accommodation, benefit entitlement, debt advice, parenting issues, legal advice and health and well-being. You will be supported to re-gain control over your life.
Confidentiality is of high importance and we ask that you do not disclose the address of a refuge. An occupancy agreement is signed to ensure that your stay in refuge is comfortable and safe.
We have some refuges that can accommodate pets. If you wish to bring your pet with you, please let us know this before you move into refuge so that we can make arrangements to support you, your children (if you have any) and your pet.
The length of time you may be in refuge accommodation varies depending on the area you are looking to be re-housed in, the size of house you require as well as the availability of housing stock within each locality.
Workers are available during office hours to offer support and information and there is a support line at other times for anything urgent.
As well as their mothers, children and young people need support to recover from domestic abuse. Children in refuge will be offered support from our children’s services.
If you need to access one of our refuges get in touch by calling us on our freephone number 0808 802 5555 or call into our office in Glenrothes to speak to someone.
Before refuge is offered, a support worker will undertake an assessment with you.
Factors we consider during assessment include:
MARAC stands for Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference.
Many people who experience domestic abuse are recognised as being at high risk of repeat victimisation. MARAC is a multi-agency response to promote information sharing, enhance the safety of victims and their children and reduce repeat victimisation. The purpose of MARAC is to:
MARAC meetings are held fortnightly, and are attended by a range of agencies such as social work, police, education and housing.
Referrals to MARAC are made by a range of professionals including Police Scotland, social workers, teachers and staff within the voluntary sector.
Fife Women’s Aid MARAC service provides advocacy and support to women and children who are at high risk. If you have been referred to MARAC you will be contacted by a worker from Fife Women’s Aid to offer you support. The MARAC Worker will meet you in a safe place, and talk to you about what you want raised at the MARAC meeting, support you with any immediate safety and support needs, and help you find any information you may need. The MARAC Worker is there to fully support you through the MARAC process, and act as a link for you with other agencies, where needed.
If you would like to talk to one of our MARAC Workers please call our Support Line on Freephone 0808 802 5555.
Our MARAC team have two dedicated Children and Young People (CYP) Workers, who work with children and young people referred through the MARAC process. If you have been referred to MARAC, our workers will talk to you about the support available to your children. Our MARAC CYP support allows children and young people to explore and resolve issues they have in relation to their experience of domestic abuse in a safe and confidential environment.
The main aim is to support children and young people with safety planning over a 6 week period. Planning your safety involves looking at the risks you are facing, your emotional and physical needs, and equipping you to make choices that may keep you from serious harm.
Our experienced staff work with children and young people to support practical skills appropriate to age, including skills such as how to telephone the police and give their name and address. Weekly one-to-one safety planning sessions are carried out in an agreed safe place, such as school.
If you would like to talk to one of MARAC CYP Workers please call us on our Freephone number 0808 802 5555.
If you are a professional and want to refer someone to MARAC please contact Fife MARAC Co-ordinator:
The counselling service supports women aged 18 and over who have experienced or been affected by domestic abuse.
One to one counselling support is provided for up to 24 weeks. These sessions are provided on a weekly basis within a safe space.
Counselling is offered in a range of settings across Fife, depending on the needs of each woman.
|Counselling is…||Counselling Is Not …|
|Hard work and takes courage||Easy|
|Somewhere you can discuss your problems and difficult feelings in a safe, confidential environment||A cup of tea and a chat|
|Somewhere you will be encouraged to talk about what is bothering you||Somewhere you will be given advice or solutions to problems|
|Somewhere you can gain a better understanding of problems||Where you go if you want to receive a medical diagnosis or medication|
|Somewhere you can identify any problematic ways of thinking and/or behaviours of your own||The magic answer to all of life’s problems|
|Something that takes commitment, time and effort||An instant solution/quick fix|
|A process that can sometimes make you feel worse before you feel better||Just a supportive, emotional crutch|
Our counselling service is affiliated to COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland).
The Family Support Service supports women and children who have experienced domestic abuse to improve relationships and communication. The aim of the support is to build confidence and resilience and promote a nurturing environment.
The service is provided for families living in refuge and in the community.
Some mothers who have experienced domestic abuse struggle with feelings of guilt and have poor self-esteem. They may lack confidence in their parenting skills and find it difficult to set and maintain boundaries for their children. The family support worker helps mothers to develop their parenting skills and create a family-life structure where children can thrive and enjoy their childhood.
Visits usually take place weekly, although can be increased or decreased depending on the needs of each family.
To make a referral, please call us on our Freephone number 0808 802 5555.
The Befriending service recruits, trains and supports volunteer befrienders to support women who have experienced domestic abuse to take part in activities in their community to reduce isolation and build confidence.
Volunteer befrienders provide regular visits allowing women the opportunity for interaction and a chance to talk. They also encourage and support women to get out of their home, attend appointments and engage with activities in the local community. This supports mental and physical health and helps to build confidence.
To make a referral, please call us on our Freephone number 0808 802 5555
The Court Support and Advocacy service supports women to prepare for and attend court.
The court support and advocacy worker provides emotional and practical support for women who are going through court proceedings. She has regular contact with women in the lead up to a court case and provides them with information about court procedures.
The worker will accompany women to the trial and will also support them to understand decisions taken by the court. This enables women to participate more fully in the process.
To make a referral, please call us on our Freephone number 0808 802 5555.