International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women


24 November 2017

We are supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 to raise awareness of this worldwide issue and to help bring a stop to it.

This year’s theme is “Leave No-one Behind – End Violence against Women and Girls” with a focus on those in society who are most vulnerable and have the most difficulty accessing support services.

It is known that one in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime and the majority do not know that there are a variety of support services available to them.

Here to help stop domestic abuse

At Optivo we have dedicated domestic violence officers who work to support victims among our residents, and prevent abuse from happening in the first place.

Susan's story

"I had been subjected to abuse at the hands of my son for many years but I didn't know where to turn for help.

I had become isolated from my family and friends and had come to rely on my son for support, but, instead of helping me, he became increasingly abusive. He had anger issues and would take it out on me. Sometimes, when I was at home, I would be ready to escape quickly if I needed to. 

I was scared but torn because I still love my son. He has difficulties of his own. I didn’t speak out because I worried what would happen to him as a result.

Things got steadily worse. I was supporting us both financially and getting into a lot of debt as a result. Our furniture and appliances had all fallen into disrepair but I couldn’t afford to fix anything. We didn’t have any heating.

Eventually the police got involved when someone phoned them to report a disturbance. They made a referral to Optivo's domestic abuse officers.

At first, I didn’t want to talk to them. I didn’t want to get my son into any trouble and I feared what he would do if he found out. I’d also been putting up with his abuse for a long time; I didn’t think anyone would be able to help me. 

But the domestic abuse officer who visited me was very patient. In time, I felt I could talk to her. She attended police appointments with me and made referrals to support services. She also put me in touch with the Financial Inclusion Team who helped me to sort my debts.

I was offered a new home, away from my son, in a complex where there was a sense of community and neighbours would look out for me. It was a difficult decision for me to make but, in the end, I decided it would be best for me and my son.

Now I feel safe for the first time in my own home and. I don’t want to lose contact with my son, but I feel I can move forward with my life.”

Contact us

If you are a resident, or know a resident, who is experiencing domestic abuse, do not hesitate to contact us. Find out more here.

More information on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.