Council to offer open access groups for women affected by domestic abuse

4 March 2022

Cheshire West and Chester Council will offer open support groups for women affected by domestic abuse from Monday, 7 March.

The groups will provide somewhere for women affected by domestic abuse to go, so that they can seek advice, interact with others, share experiences and allow their voice to be heard. The sessions will offer a safe environment where women can also enjoy refreshments and social sessions such as arts and crafts, beauty and wellness.

Groups will meet at venues in Chester, Winsford and Ellesmere Port and will be supported by qualified IDVA’s (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate) who will be able to offer confidential advice and support to women relating to a range of subjects surrounding domestic abuse. 

The sessions don’t require a formal referral from any organisation, women who are affected by domestic abuse can drop into any session at any time during the two-hour timeframe. 

Councillor Robert Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said:

“The Council want to provide community-based support services to those who are affected by domestic abuse, building on the support already available from the service to help achieve the Council’s vision for all residents to live lives free from domestic abuse. 

“Our new open access groups will give people somewhere safe where they can have confidential discussions about their experiences and get the support that they need.

“We want west Cheshire to be a place where domestic abuse is spoken about openly and residents who are harmed are supported. If you have experienced domestic abuse, or know someone who might be experiencing it, please attend one of our open sessions.”

"Domestic abuse doesn’t have to stay behind closed doors. The Council is part of Cheshire's Open the Door campaign which is there to help people get the help they need and to bring this hidden crime out into the open. Please don't suffer in silence, support is available.”

For more information, or to view the timetable for the open sessions, please visit: For men who have experienced domestic abuse, open access groups are currently available each third Monday of every month at Whitley village hall, Warrington WA4 4EJ, 6pm - 8pm. Additional male group dates will be advertised soon.   

If you, or someone you know is in a relationship that doesn't quite feel right, speak to someone about it. You can get help and advice and access self-support services at: openthedoorcheshire.org.uk or call 0300 123 7047, option 2. Always ring 999 in an emergency.

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