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Latest News

Press Release: Finding the Costs of Freedom

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2 June 2014

Solace launches new research demonstrating the long term impact of domestic violence

Today Solace Women’s Aid has launched the findings of a 3 year research project, Finding the Costs of Freedom, that examines how women and children rebuild their lives after domestic violence. Conducted in partnership with the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), this is the first longitudinal study of it’s kind in Europe.
Tracking 100 women who had accessed one or more of Solace Women’s Aid services, the research identified that for all of the participants, removing themselves from the immediate control of an abusive man was only the first step. Over 90% experienced post-separation abuse, indicating the critical need for specialist support for women in the period after leaving an abusive situation.
Professor Liz Kelly, Director of CWASU, said: “That 90% of the sample experienced post separation abuse shows that leaving violent men does not make women and children safe. Specialist support and the women’s own ongoing safety work was more effective here than interventions of statutory agencies.”
Women faced a series of barriers in accessing the resources to rebuild their lives and quality support from statutory agencies, including; protection from further abuse, housing, employment, financial support, divorce and safe child contact. These were exacerbated by changes to the legal and policy context over the course of the research.
The study highlighted that the specialist and holistic service provision at Solace Women’s Aid was critical to women being and feeling safe, as well as dealing with the legacies of abuse for themselves and their children through counselling and therapeutic support.
One of the participants in the research study said “I don’t know what I would have done without them [Solace]…they were really helpful. They were so good, never judged, never made you feel bad…just supported.”
Mary Mason, Chief Executive of Solace Women’s Aid, said “The research demonstrates that services which focus on short term risk reduction and time-limited provision is insufficient to support survivors rebuilding their lives after abuse.”
“This study provides a crucial evidence base, demonstrating the necessity to invest in the long term needs of women and children so that they can thrive in safety and freedom from abuse.”
Key recommendations that have emerged from the research include:
1. All women and children who have experienced domestic violence should be able to access a range of practical and therapeutic support for a minimum of two years after separation from their abusers.
2. All agencies dealing with victims of domestic violence should ensure staff are trained to recognise domestic violence and have an understanding of coercive control and the reality that leaving does not necessarily end abuse.
3. Refuge provision should be guaranteed and funded through a national refuge fund with a move on pathway. Women and children made homeless through domestic violence should be acknowledged as a unique group fleeing crimes that take place in the home. This should be recognised through special measures, including the offer of a social housing tenancy.
4. The end of crisis loans and community care grants has made the rebuilding process even more complex, and welfare benefit reforms have created serious hardship. A specific fund for families relocating due to domestic violence should be created by central government.
5. Community resources and individuals hold the potential to be enablers or barriers to women rebuilding their lives. National and local awareness raising work needs to expand understanding of what domestic violence is, including post-separation abuse, alongside clear messages about listening to and respecting survivors and offering support when needed.
As one of the research participants said, “I think there should be more Solaces…and there should be more training for the external world out there.”

To download the full report Finding the Costs of Freedom click here. The Executive Summary is available here.

Our Magnificent London Marathon Runners!

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A huge thank you to Melissa and John who ran the Virgin London Marathon on

Sunday raising valuable funds for Solace  - every penny is needed to answer the

daily calls from women in London needing support to escape violence.  I hope you

are as proud of yourselves as we are! – it’s a monumental achievement and we are

eternally grateful for your support.  Thank you from all the women and children

we help.  You can still donate at  :



Help them smash through their targets – Help them to change lives in London.






Hunter and the Bear supported us – Now it’s Eric!

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Hunter and the Bear who gave their time and talents last year to our Rock Against Violence Gig in Islington will be supporting the one and only Eric Clapton this summer.. We’re glad you like them Eric – we agree with you that they’re amazing live – all the best HATB with your exciting career! We’re big fans………

Melissa’s ready for the big day! Let’s cheer her on…..

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She shares her initials with Mo Farrah – so we know she’ll make it in round the full 26 miles in great time.  Join us in wishing the incredible Melissa Friedberg luck and energy on Sunday for the Virgin London Marathon and to our other Solace runner, John Hitchin.  Thank you to both of you for your amazing efforts ….

Click below to help her reach her target and help us to save lives!








What are you doing for Women’s Day – March 8th ?

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International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th so spare a thought for the millions of women around the world who inspire us every day – mothers, sisters, friends, survivors, workers, bosses, artists, activists and inventors! Give a donation or become a regular donor by clicking below or donate to support our AMAZING MARATHON RUNNER MELISSA!  www.justgiving.com/Melissa-Friedberg

Enjoy the day and celebrate with us – Do something special for the women in your life!

Melissa’s Marathon – In training for the big event!

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Our heroine Melissa is training hard for the London Marathon on April 13th – Click read more below and donate to help her reach her £3,000 target and help her through those gruelling 26 miles!  We’re with you in spirit Melissa and eternally grateful for your fantastic fundraising efforts!  A marathon sized thank you to everyone who’s supporting her.

Please donate now at www.justgiving.com/Melissa-Friedberg


Rock Against Violence – 20th November 2013

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Millie Manders, Jake Morley and Hunter and the Bear will be playing live at O2 Academy Islington on Nov 20th… to support Solace Women’s Aid and have fantastic night out click below to purchase your tickets.

A fun filled evening with serious musical talent and all for a great cause…
Buy your tickets now at www.O2academyislington.co.uk and help save lives.  Check out these fantastic new talents at a great local London venue and help us raise money to support women and children affected by violence. If you can’t make the date and will sadly miss this unique event with silent auction and great raffle prizes then  make a donation at justgiving.com/RockAgainstViolence2013

Change a life today………………..Thank you for supporting Solace Women’s Aid.



Donors boost Summer Scheme in Barnet

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After a local campaign £375 has been raised in Barnet from local businesses and their employees for the borough’s Summer Scheme. The Summer Scheme offers activities and trips over the summer holidays for mothers and children living in refuges, which are fun and valuable opportunities to relax and unwind. We could not run these schemes without donations so would like to say a big thank you to the donors!


Jeremy Leaf and Co for donating £100.

White Rose Motors for donating £50.

Smart Autos, Whetstone for donating £50.

West End Carpet Co Ltd for donating £50.

Comnet Associates Ltd for donating £100

And a lovely £25 personal donation from an anonymous employee!


Thank you all for your support!

Feeling inspired to #GiveSolace? Donate now online!

Young Philanthropists Make Us Proud

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The Young Philanthropy Initiative is an innovative scheme working with young people in schools giving them the chance to win £3,000 for their chosen local charity. The scheme raises valuable funds and crucial awareness amongst young people.  Two London schools, Islington Arts and Media School and Oasis Academy in Enfield secured valuable funds for Solace children’s services and for North London Rape Crisis. They are the next generation of charity fundraisers so a massive thank you from everyone at Solace and all the women, children and young people we work with – your support is invaluable.

Superwomen Save the Day

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A huge thank you to staff at Day Lewis Pharmacies across London who arranged a fun charity day to raise valuable funds for Solace>  The Kentish Town branch in Camden  put on their best lycra and Superwomen costumes and organised a bake sale – it was a rainy day in London but  the donations came flooding in!  Thank you to everyone who gave generously and to all the staff for their fantastic fundraising efforts………