The SWitCH Social Program has been developed in consultation with our clients to provide an opportunity for women and their children to socialise together and develop informal support networks and friendships, which have so often been limited or lost while living in unsafe, abusive situations. Bringing up children as a single mother on a limited income can be lonely and very hard work.
Many families have had to relocate to keep themselves safe, and we all know that building new friendships and support networks can be difficult. We hope to provide opportunities for women to meet and talk and for their children to play together. The aim is to strengthen their relationships in a space where their children are safely looked after. We encourage women to engage in self-care activities, reinforcing the value of taking time for themselves.
Women who have love and respect for themselves have stronger boundaries, are more empowered and are less likely to enter into future unhealthy relationships. They also feel better equipped to parent their children. By role modelling self-respect and establishing boundaries for their children, they influence the relationships that their children will have with their peers, family members and others as they grow and develop.
Women who have re-established successful lives will be role models for women living in or have just left abusive situations. They demonstrate that it is possible to recover and heal from domestic violence to have safe, fulfilling lives.
Ideally, we empower women to take ownership of the SWitCH program themselves, contributing to its planning, resourcing and implementation.
- Social isolation is reduced for women and children who have experienced family and domestic violence.
- Informal networks and friendships are developed, providing emotional and practical support for women.
- Women feel valued and empowered to make effective decisions for themselves and their children.
- The relationship between women and their children is enhanced as women and children have fun, reduce stress levels and providing memories of good times together.
- Emotional wellbeing for everyone is enhanced.
- New fun, affordable activities are introduced and experienced.