Anyone can make a referral to us, either yourself, a friend, a family member or another agency. Please ensure that you have the woman’s consent before making a referral on her behalf. We support women who have experienced domestic abuse whether recently or in the past. The initial support meetings are generally in our office based in Saltcoats but we can arrange to meet you in a safe place if you are unable to attend.
At North Ayrshire Women’s Aid we can also make referrals to other services which could include: Rape Crisis, Money Matters or The Home Security Project.
What happens once we receive a referral?
Referrals to us come to our dedicated staff team and we respond to all referrals within 48 hours. We will offer you an initial appointment to discuss support options. During this assessment, we also undertake the CAADA DASH risk assessment which is also used by Police Scotland and other agencies.
Following on from this, you will be assigned the same worker who will support you throughout your journey with us. They will work with you to build a tailored safety plan around your individual needs. This could include seeking refuge, finding a lawyer, or going through options if you are planning to leave, as well as dealing with the emotional effects of having experienced domestic abuse.
There is a semi-structured program of support which is tailored to your support needs. Your worker will go through this with you. When the program of support is coming to an end there will be some continued check-ins as well as the option to come to our open groups and to volunteer with us.
Support Group Work
We have a number of support groups that are available to all women in the service. Due to Covid-19, all groups have temporarily stopped with the exception of the Peer Support Group.
- Peer Support Group – run by the volunteers, a chance to come along for a cuppa and a chat. Women supporting women.
- Emotions Group – working through emotions, coping techniques, building strength, self-esteem and confidence.
- Domestic Abuse Recovery Group – moving on from and understanding the different types of abuse, recognising warning signs and red flags, and breaking the cycle of abuse.
- Friday Drop-in – a social group that do cooking, arts & crafts, there for a chat and a cup of tea.
- IT Group – learning new skills, increasing digital skills and knowledge and support with applying for benefits, jobs, etc.
We provide refuge accommodation for those in need with properties throughout North Ayrshire. The refuge staff are based in the main office and will meet with you on a weekly basis to provide emotional and practical support with things such as housing, benefits, lawyers appointments, etc.
When you move on from refuge, your worker will continue to support you to settle into your new accommodation until you’ve completed our program of support.
There is an out of hours on-call service for all women within refuge. This is to provide emergency support for the hours when staff are not available. Click here to learn more about refuge.
Our advocacy worker provides 1-to-1 emotional and practical support to women who are at highest risk of harm, working from the point of crisis. They can provide support with attending court, lawyers appointments, social work, etc.
With specialist knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse and its effects on women, children and young people, we will listen to you, validate your experience and provide support.
Children & Young People Outreach Service
We have a children’s service that directly support on a 1-to-1 basis children who have experienced domestic abuse, either via their parents or themselves. Anyone can make a referral to the service including a parent, social work, teacher, etc.
The workers work with school age children from 5-18 years old. They go into schools and support children and young people on a 1-to-1 to help them understand what healthy relationships are as well as recognising signs of abuse. This support includes discussing keeping themselves safe, who would they talk to if they needed help, what is important to them, and coping with anything they’ve witnessed or experienced.