The work we do with women on our Out of Court Diversionary Programme has a big impact on their lives and their families. Recently we worked with Nadine* in Bournemouth, helping her to turn her life around, one small step at a time.

Nadine was referred to our Out of Court Diversionary programme after the police were called to her house one night. She’d had a disagreement with her daughter’s boyfriend and neighbours had reported a disturbance. Because she was already known to the police, Nadine was given the option of the issue progressing to court, or of working with us at The Footprints Project. She chose to work with us.

Nadine had been a victim of domestic violence and although her abusive ex partner had left the area she still lived in fear of his return. He had followed her home on a number of occasions and had once smashed her windows in at night, leaving her isolated and terrified of even leaving the house. As a single mum with a teenage daughter and guardianship of her 10 year old nephew, she needed help to rebuild her confidence and establish a new network of friends and people who could support her.

Our Women’s OOCD Co-ordinator Helen, worked with Nadine for four months, checking in with a weekly phone call and signposting Nadine to the various groups and organisations who could help her. With Helen’s guidance, Nadine took part in the 10-week Phoenix Programme from Bournemouth University, a course that helps women to feel more empowered with their personal safety and to recognise red flags in relationships. Helen also helped Nadine apply for funding to get a video doorbell installed and increased safety at home. She also helped Nadine to find and complete courses about communicating with teenagers, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and drugs and alcohol awareness.

 After 16 weeks of working with Helen Nadine felt stronger, with more self-confidence and belief in her own abilities. She told us her relationship with her daughter had improved and she was able to reach out to friends who she had not seen for a long time and begin to build a new life. Helen said: ‘The simple consistency of having a weekly call and knowing someone will check in on you makes all the difference.’

*Names have been changed