KFT confidential domestic violence support group has been set up by women that have been through domestic violence themselves.
Every Monday, Keeping Families Together run a confidential domestic violence support group for women that live in the borough of Wandsworth that runs from 10.30am to 12pm. The location of the group is not disclosed due to the safety of the women that attend. Referrals can only be accepted by enable social prescribing team and professionals and other organisations and charities. We support women from all religious backgrounds.
We provide one to one sessions, talk therapy, therapeutic sessions, group sessions, CBT, counselling, family group sessions and safety planning. We advocate between the police and other organisations, help on housing matters, self esteem and confidence building and supporting women to get back into the work. We also help obtain food parcel, clothes that have been donated by families for children and young people, and support through the court system and contact arrangements support with either parent depending on the severity of the DV. We work alongside other professionals to support the family.
We have a great understanding and support were we can for families to live a safe quality life. Our volunteers are trained and DBs checked and have been through domestic violence themselves and would like to support other women that are going through or have been through DV.
Increase in Domestic Violence
Between 2020-2021 the total number of common assaults flagged as instances of domestic violence due to the coronavirus pandemic in the UK increased.
Anonymous stories from women
The three anonymous stories are based on real life stories that each women have gone through. These women live to tell their stories and are anonymous to protect them from their ex partners.
Anonymous story 1
“I was in an on and off relationship with my ex partner that I have a child with. It’s been fifteen years since I went through the physical, mental, financial and emotional abuse. When I got pregnant he was the most loving partner but when he had drunk alcohol he would turn into this aggressive and angry person that I did not know. I had no support from family or friends because he had isolated me from them. It first started when I was six months pregnant and he pushed me against the wall and started to strangle me and I kicked him out and he went and then come and told me that he had nowhere to go so I let him back in. Just like any women would do if they loved their partner. Everything was fine until after I gave birth to our precious daughter. For a year and a half our relationship was fine until I fell pregnant again I even clearly remember it now – March 2006. I told my ex partner that I was pregnant and he told me straight away without him even thinking about it that I had to get an abortion and he made sure that he was at every appointment and he even made sure that the date for the abortion was booked. He was not working or on benefits – he used my money to get the alcohol drink that he wanted. When I refused him he would punch me in the legs or arms while I was pregnant. So I clearly remember after my daughters 2nd birthday the abortion was booked and he made sure that I did this by saying to me that if I want us together then I have to do this and if I didn’t he would leave me. He watched my daughter and I went and had the abortion. After two months after the abortion I didn’t feel that this was a healthy relationship at all. All he did was use my money to buy alcohol and in August 2016 my ex partner decided to have a alcoholic drink and got drunk and started to become abusive physically. He punched me on my legs and arms and during this attack our daughter was sleeping in the bedroom. After he had finished beating me he left. At this time I picked up my bible – coming from a Hindu background I could only have comfort in the bible. I read the bible and prayed and made a decision if this ever happens again I will have to call the police and have him arrested for GBH. Middle of week I clearly remember it was a Wednesday evening and my ex partner came in and sat on a sofa and the only thing he said was hi. Then my daughter came into the living room from the bedroom and sat on my lap. As my ex partner got up to go to the kitchen a bottle of vodka had dropped out of his coat pocket. At this point I said to him that we are finished and we are no longer together as I can not do this anymore and it is a unhealthy relationship and I broke it off. At this point he got angry and aggressive and came at me while I was sitting with my daughter on my lap and started punching me and I quickly moved my daughter out of the way and noticed that he hit her too and that was it with all my strength I pushed my daughter to the back of me and I pulled my knees up to my stomach and pushed him to where the windows were and I said to him to leave and I called the police. The police told me to tell my ex partner to leave the flat and he refused and I was by them to meet them downstairs with my daughter. As I was going down to the police I waited for the lift as the lift came up and opened my ex partner pushed me into the lift while I was carrying my daughter. Finally the police got to the block within 5mins with an ambulance behind them. The police went up to my flat and arrested my partner on GBH on three counts. To cut this story short my ex partner pleaded guilty on three counts of GBH and was sentenced to prison for more than three months. Over the last few years I have forgiven my ex and I have moved on to better and brighter future with my daughter. The police and victim support were amazing that I did not have to flee where I lived like most women do with their children. The only thing that I found that was not much available for women that have been through or are going through domestic violence is face to face confidential support groups and sessions where they can build a life again with restoring, building a better future for their themselves as well as their children where they feel safe and understood and safety planning to support the mother and children.”
Anonymous story 2
“I was married for 13y ears -a love marriage and in a big family. My mother in law and older brother in law were the captain of our family and as usual main leader was mother in law who abused and I had to do exactly as I was being told to do. If I did not I was beaten by my husband who was also alcoholic, womaniser and took drugs. When I was pregnant during my 8th month pregnancy my husband tried to burn me and wanted to show as if it was an accident however one side of my face and my right arm shoulder and wrist was burnt and I had child who has special needs when I got to know my husband he had started mistreating me badly mentally and physically which traumatised me. I lost my appetite and was in depression. After 10 years of prolonging the relationship as I was thinking I should stay there because I have a child with him and thought about what the society, the relatives would say to my parents. So I had put up with it but couldn’t take it no more and had to leave him and fled with my child as no one should for no matter take mentally, physically, financially or emotionally anybody’s abuse because the women play a role model for her kids, as a sister daughter, aunt niece, sister in law. We are the teachers who teach that it’s not okay to be in an abusive relationship. I had to take this step for myself for my freedom. So that I can give myself the right to live my life and also to teach my child that its not okay to take any kind of abuse . If you cannot respect and love yourself no one else can do this for you.”
Anonymous story 3
“It’s only now that I have been out of my relationship for more than 3 years, that I had time to look back to realise I was in a abusive relationship.
He had control starting maybe from my 1st pregnancy telling me I shouldn’t go out with friends to what I should eat. When we had our children I wasn’t allowed to let them stay with relatives overnight, I lost confidence in myself, when I did go out on occasions I was told that my clothes weren’t appropriate. I stopped talking to my closest friends for a number of years, and my mother stopped talking to me for three months.
We would have intercourse and would be happy that I satisfied him but little did I know this wasn’t enough for him, I would be woken up so that we could have intercourse again even if I didn’t want to but I wanted to make him happy. It got to the stage that I stopped having intercourse, when I declined I was accused of sleeping with someone else. I moved out of the bedroom and slept in the living room I started a night job so that I didn’t have to sleep in the same bed. When I started my job I was told that I wouldn’t be able to manage it and it was a waste of time.
He would tell me that my children hated me and they pretended to like me, he would compare me to other mothers & put me down. I now know that he was controlling & weak. Since leaving my confidence has grown, I have wonderful relationships with my children and very happy.”
We work with young people and their families together with other agencies confidentially to support the family to be safe at the same time to have a good quality of life.