In 2016 Sandwell Women’s Aid will officially become Black Country Women’s Aid, to reflect the scope of our work across the region.
Sandwell Women’s Aid was first established 30 years ago, as local women including the late Margaret O’Neill recognised the massive impact of domestic abuse in Sandwell, and the lack of options for victims. In those days, domestic abuse was very much behind closed doors. Our founder members set up the first refuge in the West Bromwich area. This offered women and children fleeing domestic abuse a safe place to go and the chance for a new start, free from fear.
Over the years since then we have grown and evolved in response to needs and a changing climate, whilst retaining our core values and placing survivors’ voices at the heart of our work. Sandwell Women’s Refuge became Sandwell Women’s Aid as we also began to offer community outreach services. Later, we established services for victims of rape and sexual assault, exploitation and trafficking.
“They helped me to regain my confidence and rebuild my life.”
Today, we are a diverse organisation which works across the West Midlands boroughs of Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. Our services include support for both adult and child victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, exploitation, modern slavery, and women in the criminal justice system. We offer sensitive and holistic support services which each year help thousands of victims of abuse to escape from violence, cope with trauma and rebuild their lives. Last year we supported over 9000 women, men and children.
As Black Country Women’s Aid we look forward to continuing to develop our services to make sure victims of abuse get the right support at the right time, wherever they present.