The future of Women as Protectors
The Women as Protectors service has been live for about a year, so it’s too early to talk about its effectiveness more broadly, but I believe it can make a real difference.
In the past, when women had been assessed as a safe carer, they would be left to deal with the situation alone. If they engage with one of our volunteers, they have ongoing support.
"There are complicated situations where, for example, the abuser is the woman’s son and she is caring for her grandchildren."
Development Manager, NSPCC
Meeting and talking with other women in a similar situation can make them feel less isolated, and the service their children receive directly can keep the family safer.
This service has also highlighted the complexity of people’s lives.
There are complicated situations where, for example, the abuser is the woman’s son and she is caring for her grandchildren.
We were also approached by the male partner of a woman with a history of sexual abuse. A different service would be needed in this situation: men and women display different patterns of sexually abusive behaviour, and Women as Protectors has been developed specifically for women in contact with a male offender.
Individual outcomes are also complex. For example, some women may decide to leave their partner after participating in the programme: this may be the best decision for her, but the man might then move on to another family.
When you’re dealing with the multiplicity of family life, there are always new issues to address, but we can learn from every situation and Women as Protectors will evolve to meet the challenge.