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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

For a brighter future, free from abuse.

Our Mission

Working with and for survivors, and those at risk of, domestic abuse in all its forms to be and feel safer. Together with our partners we will increase awareness of domestic abuse and advocate for change.

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.

Our Values

Individuality – We recognise and value difference, placing client needs at the centre of all we do. We celebrate that people are individuals, appreciate the value of diversity and recognise some sections of community need different interventions to achieve equality.

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

Responsive – We strive to be responsive to survivors needs applying a trauma informed response to all we do. We are responsive to changing service demands and a changing landscape, by being an organisation that is sustainable and scalable.

Integrity – We understand the importance of an atmosphere of openness and honesty throughout Safe Steps that promotes confidence and collaboration with our clients, colleagues, stakeholders, funders and regulators.

Empowering – Empowering survivors to drive positive change by listening, believing and being led by their experiences and insight. Empowering staff to achieve and reach their full potential, investing in staff talent and initiative.

How can we help you?

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Volunteering opportunties
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Our Organisation
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