The Dash Charity
The Dash Charity is a local charity providing support for families and individuals who are experiencing domestic abuse. It has been running since 1976 and offers a range of free and confidential specialist services to help people across RBWM and South Bucks.
The Dash Charity (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) helps women, men and children experiencing all forms of abusive behaviour including emotional, economic, physical, sexual abuse and coercive controlling behaviour. They can also support victims of stalking, harassment, honour based abuse and forced marriage. Through tailored programmes of practical help and emotional support, the Dash Charity help people access the help and safety they need and feel empowered to break free from the cycle of abuse .
The charity runs three refuges for women and children fleeing from all parts of the UK, if they are too unsafe to remain in their home area. These are safe houses where they can escape from their abuser, access legal help to protect them and their children, access support programmes to help them understand their experiences, get parenting support and advocacy with support agencies. Families stay here for an average of 4-6 months whilst they recover and work towards rebuilding their lives.
Other services include telephone helpline support, advocacy and outreach support , one to one support for children and young people who have emotional/behavioural issues due to their experience of domestic abuse and an education programme delivering workshops to primary/secondary schools, youth groups and colleges.
The Dash Charity also runs training sessions for professionals and community groups to help people understand how to spot the signs of abuse and learn how they can support friends, family members and colleagues experiencing domestic abuse.
To find out more about The Dash Charity, how to get help, support them or to donate, visit their website and social media pages.
About The Dash Charity
The Dash Charity began in 1976. How much has the charity developed in that time?
We have had a few ups and downs – we have grown, then shrunk and grown again and now we need to grow even further again due to the increase in domestic abuse during the pandemic. It’s a rollercoaster in the charity sector as much of our work relies on funding. We started as a single refuge home in Slough in 1976 which was quite frankly unfit for human habitation.
Fast forwards to now and we have 3 lovely refuge homes in Slough, supporting women and children from all over the UK.
We have a telephone helpline, an advocacy and outreach team which supports around 150 families at any one time from RBWM and we also have a specialist children’s team supporting children and young people who are struggling with emotional/behavioural issues due to domestic abuse.
We deliver training, talks and workshops to schools, local groups and businesses.
We are a small team but we do lots of great work to help people in our local communities to feel safe and recover from domestic abuse. In many cases our support is life-saving.
When people think of domestic abuse, do they automatically think it’s only women who are the victims?
Very often and the truth is that predominantly it does happen more to women than men. However, we do support men and absolutely men can fall victim to similar patterns of controlling and abusive behaviour as women and although we say domestic abuse happens to 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men the truth is that in both cases the figures are likely to be even higher and for men and many other people there are additional barriers to accessing help and support for domestic abuse. The main difference between the abuse of women and men is that women are far more likely to experience repeated violence, sexual abuse and are much more likely to die at the hands of their abuser. Domestic abuse results in 2 deaths to women every week in the UK.
If someone wanted to get involved in volunteering, could this work around their personal/work commitments?
Absolutely! We have a couple of volunteers helping us at the moment with grants research and admin support and they are invaluable! We also have a team of volunteers who help us with fundraising events and raising awareness in the community – these events are often at weekends and sometimes in the evening so there are opportunities available for everyone.