nia is run for women and children by women, providing services developed in consultation with women who have been subjected to men’s violence and from a proudly feminist foundation. We have been delivering services to women, girls and children who have been subjected to sexual and domestic violence and abuse, including prostitution, since 1975.
In the year between April 2020 and March 2021, despite the COVID pandemic and two national lock-downs, our incredible all-woman staff team provided one-to-one support to 1,381 women, girls and children. This breaks down to:
322 women at high risk of repeated and serious domestic violence including homicide were supported by our Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) services: 270 in Haringey & 52 in Hackney
- East London Rape Crisis Independent Sexual Violence Advocates practical and emotional one-to-one support for 185 women; 106 young women and girls and short-term casework to 63 women and girls. The ELRC counselling service worked with 205 women
- 198 women subjected to domestic violence and abuse accessed the IRIS service through doctor’s surgeries in Hackney and City, Haringey, and Barking and Dagenham
- Our refuges The Emma Project and Daria House became home to 24 women who have problematic substance use and had been subjected to sexual and domestic violence and sexual exploitation, including prostitution
- The Anita Exiting Prostitution and Advocacy Project supported 32 women abused through prostitution, and the Ascent Advice and Outreach Service for women who have been sexually exploited and/or subjected to sexual or domestic violence and who have problematic substance use supported 108 women; the WiSER and CASA projects supported a further 14 women
- The London Holistic Advocacy Wrap Around Service for women and children who have been subjected to men’s violence and who have insecure immigration status and are subject to no recourse to public funds, supported 52 women
- 33 children under 16 who had been subjected to or witnessed domestic violence and abuse were supported by our Play Therapy service, 14 were girls and 19 were boys. The project also supported 15 women (their mothers)
- and we also supported 11 men and 1 person who identified as transgender.
- The East London Rape Crisis Information and Support Line supported 1,702 women and/or family/friends/agencies enquiring on behalf of victim-survivors of sexual violence by phone, email and video chat
- East London Rape Crisis Information and Support Line workers and volunteers delivered 100 Online Chat sessions to survivors nationally, on behalf of Rape Crisis England and Wales
- Our Schools Engagement Worker delivered the following work across 4 schools in East London: a 2-day a Healthy Relationships Project to 30 pupils, assemblies to 120 girls on sexism, abuse and how to support your friends, training to 95 teachers on abuse in young people’s relationships and weekly core-groups to 38 pupils on: violence against women and girls, how to support your friends, and power and control in relationships. She additionally delivered an online event called Turning Anger into Activism with 5 young women.
Thank you to our volunteers:
11 volunteers gave 609 hours of their time to help women and girls through the East London Rape Crisis Information & Support Services.
Some quotes from women who have worked with us:
“I felt heard and not judged, which allowed me to better verbalise my issues and that prompted change in my life”
“I just want to thank you for your support over the past months, you have been more helpful to me than perhaps you realised and for that I am grateful. It is so helpful to talk to you because you understand, especially the small things that are difficult to explain; other people don’t understand. Thank you”.
“What you all do is lifesaving. I was so beaten down by the system and having nia help me to know what happened was wrong and unacceptable. The system does not support women at all and it is dangerous that they are saying they do. Women are being murdered at alarming rates. These men have no right to do this to us. We are valuable and worthy”
“I have to thank you again for all your help, you never gave up on me and that’s why I am where I am now”.
“She spoke very favourably about the support at the centre, the relaxed atmosphere and the kindness and welcome she received. It is fantastic to hear such positive feedback and it was wonderful to see how much more relaxed and at ease my client presented when I visited her. She was very much looking forward to having her nails done at the centre and she has met several friends whilst attending the coffee mornings.”
“What do other women do in these situations without help from people like you? I would not have coped, I wouldn’t be here”.
“Thank you so much for your help, you have helped me a lot. I am upset not to talk to you anymore. My mental health feels much better. I feel more positive and more relaxed. It is good to know you are there to talk to, I don’t feel alone. I know I would not have this help in my country. Thank you.”
“The support around court and housing was very useful for me, due to my mental health I can only deal with so much. I’ve got my life back and free from abuse.”
“Honestly the support line has been so helpful, if it weren’t for Rape Crisis I honestly would not have coped.”
“You guys helped me a hell of a lot. I wasn’t aware of some of my options and rights; routes to do things. I am getting my cooker now from social services as the other one was smashed by my ex-partner. You advised me of this, that I can ask my social worker. You are very supportive.”
“It was only when ELRC became involved that I became stable, within a month I was able to return to work.”
“Everybody is looking after me, thank you. You have been excellent! More than excellent! What could I have done without you? I was crying all the time. I would have committed suicide and I was thinking about it. I am so grateful. You gave me hope, you took away the fear out of me as I was paralysed with fear that he was going to kill me when the order expired. I now have no anxiety. Whenever I talk to you, you lift my spirit.”d