From 'surviving' to 'thriving': Users hail abuse charity after funding plea

Support staff at the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum.

Support staff at the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum. The forum has missed out on £30,000 of funding this year, putting the future of their trauma therapy service in doubt. Hayley Hodger, Advice and Guidance, Christine Topper, Chair of Trustees and Irina Hodkinson. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Domestic abuse survivors have hailed the life-changing impact of a service whose future is now at risk.

The Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum, based at the Kirkley Centre in Lowestoft, is looking for £30,000 in funding to continue offering those in need "essential" trauma therapy support.

The service has had a transformational impact on the lives of many Waveney residents, as well as those from further afield.

Irina Hodkinson, manager of the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum.

Irina Hodkinson, manager of the Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

One 49-year-old mother said: "I didn’t know what to expect, but wow.

"It’s made me feel so confident and empowered.

"The techniques are simple but very affective.

"All I can say is 'wow'.

"In a year I have come so far with doing the freedom course and now my trauma therapy, I just cannot believe how effective the course is and how much happier I am.

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"It’s like a weight has been lifted and I still have more to go.

"Thank you to all involved, this charity has really changed me for the better and has also given me tools to deal with my future and my child’s future."

Another woman added: "When I first met with my therapist I was feeling overwhelmed, fearful, terrified of my ex, put down, criticised, wanting to be looked after and unable to take control of my life.

"When I started I was stuck and I could see no way out.

"I was just surviving but now I am thriving.

"I now know how to look after me now, my real needs and in turn I can parent my children as a healthy mother.”

One man, 64, said the service had made him "feel a sense of fun again."

He said: "I feel contentment. I can control and be in control of myself.

"I have cleared memories and the deepest triggers, feeling free and able to live my life again.

"As far as I am concerned, there is nothing that could improve this service.

"It has been an incredible journey and I will be forever grateful."

Another mother, 36, added: "My emotional and physical wellbeing has improved 100pc.

"I can function as a healthy adult and mother.

"I am in control and me and my children are safe and secure."

Anyone looking to donate to the charity can do so by visiting the Forum's official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/waveneydaforum.

Any easyfundraising page has also been set up, allowing people to support the charity while shopping online. For more information, go to: www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/waveneydomesticviolenceandabuseforum

To get support or advice from the Forum, call 01502 572 143 or 07906 245 979 or email info@waveneydvforum.org.uk