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Safe Steps is a specialist provider, delivering services in Southend, Thurrock, and other areas of Essex. We offer a range of community services to support women, men, young people and children to rebuild their lives after domestic abuse. Operating from the Dove Centre, we take the dedication and pioneering work of the Southend Women’s’ Aid and SOS Domestic Abuse Projects over the last 40 years into the next 40.

Our Vision

To work towards a brighter future free from domestic abuse. Our tag line: A brighter future free from abuse

Our Mission

Safe Steps works with and for all survivors of domestic abuse, of all ages and all genders.

Our Approach

We recognise that domestic abuse is gender-based violence and a consequence of global gender inequality and misogyny within the wider society. Survivors of domestic abuse hail from all income brackets, and include those who live in rural hamlets, as well as those who are city dwellers.

We also know that women do not exclusively experience domestic abuse, and we take an intersectional approach to our understanding of gender, acknowledging that other forms of inequality exist and have an impact on survivors’ lives.

While survivors may share many common experiences, it’s wrong to assume that all survivors are the same, have the same needs, are exposed to the same risks, and face the same level of disadvantage.

A gender-neutral, one size fits all approach does not take into account different routes to safety, barriers to reporting, or achieving social and legal justice. Some survivors face compound forms of disadvantage. For example:

  • poverty
  • age discrimination
  • gender identity
  • religion/belief
  • sexual orientation
  • immigration status
  • disabilities
  • pregnancy
  • caring responsibilities
  • ethnicity
  • heritage

Similarly, female, male, and non-binary people will also experience domestic abuse differently. With this in mind, we aim to develop tailored services that are not only gender-specific but also reach out to disadvantaged groups of people that so far, have yet to find us.

To help us achieve this, we will build working relationships with specialist organisations that already work with excluded and minoritised communities. We tailor our messages sensitively and appropriately, and where possible, form new working relationships with community groups that foster mutual learning and respect. Our work will not be complete until all survivors are free to live in the world without fear.

Core Values

Survivor led– We celebrate the fact that survivors of domestic abuse work and inform every level of our service provision. We are committed to investing and upskilling new survivors to play an active part in the organisations future.

Trauma-informed- We understand that those who experience intimate terrorism may also experience a negative impact on their long-term physical and mental health and wellbeing. We aim to work with survivors on their journey to a brighter future, tailoring services to meet their different needs at different points in their lives.

Excellence– We review and improve our service delivery to ensure that we remain a centre for excellence, going above and beyond, to support survivors of domestic abuse

Equality and diversity– We instil equality and diversity into every aspect of our practice. We recognise that some sections of the community need different interventions to achieve equality. We will work to ensure that all survivors receive tailor-made and trauma-informed services, that are inclusive of their protected characteristics, and celebrate diversity in all forms.

Financially prudent– We do not take our funding or fundraising for granted. We make sure that every penny kindly donated is accounted for, every donation is recorded, and that expenditure is planned and used to meet our charitable aims.

How can we help you?

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Volunteering opportunties
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Our Organisation
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