Women who have suffered domestic abuse will now be able to access free counselling support, thanks to a collaboration between The University of Manchester and Stockport Without Abuse.
The counselling psychology service for victims of domestic abuse was launched in March and provides one-to-one support based at the Stockport women's refuge.
Kath Dunn-cham, Accommodation Manager at the Stockport Without Abuse refuge and Dr Terry Hanley, Course Director for the doctoral training programme in counselling psychology at The University of Manchester identified the need to provide an on-site counselling service.
Kath said: "The waiting time to access counselling services in Stockport is currently around three months. Being able to access counselling within our refuge accommodation will make a big difference to women, as they can receive this service when they are most in need of it. We expect that this will have a positive impact on the mental health of the women we support, and subsequently a positive effect on the wellbeing of their children."
Dr Hanley supported the recruitment of first year trainee, Nerys Owen, who is currently studying for a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of Manchester, to assist with developing and delivering the service. Nerys works one day a week offering therapy to women at the refuge to help them address the devastating effects of domestic abuse.
He said: "This partnership between the University and Stockport Without Abuse shows how academic research can be effectively applied to real life situations and used to help those who have been victims of domestic abuse. Nerys has been very active in supporting this service get off the ground, and I am sure that the experience will inform and enrich her own learning as well as making a real difference to women at the refuge."
Nerys added: "It's a privilege to have been given this opportunity. Giving these women the space and time to be listened to without judgement is possibly the most rewarding experiences I've had. Knowing that I'm learning along the way makes it even more valuable."
Stockport Without Abuse is a local charity which offers a range of services to help and support women, men and children who are affected by domestic abuse.