We work with female offenders in a range of areas to reduce offending, address the impact of abuse on female offenders and support women who want to exit sex work.
We work with female offenders who have experienced domestic abuse through our Athena programme, which allows survivors to explore the subject of domestic abuse in a supportive and facilitated setting. The Athena programme aims to increase awareness, confidence and self-esteem, reduce isolation and feelings of self-blame, and assist in the building of support networks.
We also work with female offenders who are perpetrators of domestic abuse to challenge behaviours used to control and scare their partners. The programme aims to support female offenders to address what abuse is, how to control or monitor jealousy and how to start to identify the driving factors behind abusive behaviours.
Our programme to support women who want to exit sex work recognises that sex work in the UK is a hugely varied and diverse area and that sex workers are not a homogenous group.
We tailor our interventions for exiting sex work to the needs of the individual, presenting alternative options to prostitution as a way of initiating long-lasting change in the lives of female offenders. We also work with women to explore ways to minimise harm for sex workers to ensure that if women do return to prostitution they can better reduce the risk of harm.
All our programmes with female offenders incorporate national and international best practice in the field, including organisations such as Support for Change and Dr Prochaska’s Change for Good model.
In 2014/15, we’re working with female offenders at HMP Bronzefield.
Here’s what some of the women had to say about Aurora New Dawn’s Athena programme:
“[The course took me on a]…journey and a path towards a new, safer and happier life”
“Great course, don’t turn your nose up. Give it a chance because you get more from it than you would ever believe. So do it, boost your confidence and change your life.”
“This was a big step for the ‘not knowing if anyone would understand me’. I was nervous and anxious not realising there was other people in the same boat. I don’t like talking about my past as this is the first time I’ve been open in front of other people. The facilitators made this experience as easy as possible and I would recommend this to anyone that has been through a bad time.”