‘providing trauma informed, asset based advocacy to women in Tees Valley experiencing multiple disadvantages, and specifically women selling sex on the street’
A dedicated wrap around service aimed at women who were/are sex workers/sexually exploited providing bespoke one to one support
Support for other women experiencing multiple disadvantages, such as those with learning difficulties, mental health problems, or who are experiencing poverty and homelessness but who are not involved in sex work.
Our Liberty Project, originally founded in 2002, delivers trauma informed and asset based advocacy and support services to women living with multiple complex needs, and specifically supporting on street sex workers. The service is delivered via evening and daytime outreach in Stockton and Middlesbrough, one-to-one support, locally based drop-ins and in-reach into the local women’s prison, HMP & YOI Low Newton and into Middlesbrough Police’s custody.
Our service delivery continues to be shaped by COVID-19 guidelines and organisational risk assessments with regular reviews and amendments to enable us to continue supporting clients through this difficult time.
PROVIDING SUPPORT THROUGH A RANGE OF ACTIVITIES
Ensuring a professional approach and adherence to safeguarding procedures and professional boundaries the project provides advocacy and support covering a variety of areas such as :
crisis support including attendance at A&E, GP appointments and follow-up hospital visits, taking women to sexual violence services in the event of a rape and a multitude of other support related services. Clients have demonstrated that A Way Out as it is often the only place that a woman will turn to and trust when facing a crisis situation.
support and signposting to partner agencies focussing upon reducing substance misuse and addiction
support and signposting to partner agencies addressing domestic abuse and exploitation
to access benefits
support with the criminal justice agencies
support with children’s social care.
basic needs, which include food parcels, toiletries and other essential materials.
Liberty has two distinct delivery elements:
A dedicated wrap around service aimed at women who sell sex on the street/are sexually exploited providing bespoke one to one support.
support for other women whose lives are affected by other factors, such as those with learning difficulties, mental health problems, or who are experiencing poverty and homelessness but who are not involved in sex work.
How we can help!
A Way Out delivers a unique and effective outreach service model and impacts include: engaging people who would otherwise receive no service; delivering risk minimising equipment such as condoms or clean needles; providing brief respite in the form of hot drinks; maintaining vital and
trusted relationships between themselves and the women; linking women with opportunities for change.
Evidenced outcomes include health, safety and basic needs:
Maintaining women in drug treatment: women who receive support from Liberty maintain their participation in drug treatment longer and reduce the amount of their drug use.
Reducing harm: whilst an individual is engaging with A Way Out, their exposure to harm is lessened. Harm in this context includes physical and emotional abuse, substance-related harm, and physical and mental critical ill-health.
Reduced A&E admissions: less use of the emergency services and more use of community health services, including GPs and dentists.
Keeping support links open: it is recognised by project partners and service users that A Way Out plays an important role in simply keeping in contact with highly vulnerable and at-risk individuals.
Ensuring basic needs are fulfilled: including food, toiletries and other essential materials.
Saving lives: service users report that as a result of A Way Out, vulnerable women remain alive.
Reducing domestic abuse: Much of A Way Out’s advocacy work aims to reduce risk for women from intimate partner violence, particularly in relation to accommodation.
Supporting resettlement from prison: for women returning to the community. This Intervention opportunity is a key element in transition on release from Prison where women experience a degree of stability in prison, including medication for their addictions, medical attention, regular meals, sleep and have time for reflection.
Our partners have said:
A Way Out has a strong reputation and is held in high regard across Stockton on Tees and Teesside.
Partner agencies from criminal justice (police, prisons and probation (including CRC), local
authorities and the voluntary sector, reported a specialised, effective and unique organisation.
Organisations with an operational relationship found staff teams to be highly professional and
They were also found to be effective communicators, providing regular updates on clients
and being very approachable. Respondents with strategic links reported an organisation which
demonstrated effective representation at the local and regional strategic fora.
The STAGE Project provides trauma-informed support for vulnerable women who have been groomed by groups of men for sexual exploitation.