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.
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.