Survivors Against Domestic Abuse dealt with 620 cases between January 1 and December 1 this year – but how did the service begin?

Formerly known as Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse, the scheme was launched by the borough council in 2012.

The organisation centres around the Domestic Abuse Forum – made up of abuse survivors who get together to share their experiences, support one another and offer help and guidance to others.

Last month, we interviewed one of the first SADA service users, Roxie Chambers, who now works for the organisation – which she credits with helping turn her life around.

Since launching, it has helped women and men – who are usually referred by the police, GPs or other agencies – through counselling and group therapy.

It aims to empower victims of domestic abuse to make positive life choices, provide support around accessing legal advice and provides the provision of You, Me and Mum course – to help parents to support their children after experiencing the effects of domestic abuse.

It is chaired by council leader Sharon Taylor, and is now operational in the Welwyn Hatfield, North Herts and East Herts districts, sparking the name change from Stevenage Against Domestic Abuse to Survivors Against Domestic Abuse.

SADA opened its first Safe House in 2017, and this year opened the 16th Safe House in Hertfordshire, providing men, women and children fleeing domestic abuse with a safe haven to go to.

Most recently, it was awarded White Ribbon accreditation – which recognises the organisation’s work to end male violence against women – and has launched a book, ‘SADA Survivor Stories’.

SADA Survivor Stories, headed up by Roxie Chambers, is available to buy in paperback or you can get it free on Kindle via Amazon.

The service is open to anyone, regardless of gender, class, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or lifestyle.

The service is also open to families as well as single victims of domestic abuse.

Those is need can call SADA today on 01438 242666 or email, or call Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088.