Across Salford, women have been left in the lurch when leaving abusive relationships, and lacked female emotional support and help.
Salford Soul Sisters is here to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for women to share their experiences around a wide range of topics, including; “isolation, loneliness, poverty, abuse and addiction”.
Every Wednesday at Little Hulton Pavilion, Salford Soul Sisters holds a drop in service, with a group meeting held and lead by the women who attend and their individual experiences.
The project was launched by Nicki, over 3 years ago after coming to the realisation that there were very few female led outreach centers.
“Salford Soul Sisters is a peer support group and it’s for the women and their children”, said organiser Nicki.
“It stemmed from a long time ago, I was doing some work in a domestic violence unit and one of the women in there said there’s nowhere to talk about what’s happened.
“You’ll often find that when women flee domestic violence and they get out of that situation all of the practical things are resolved, and they’re given a safe house, then they begin to realise that there’s a lot more that they actually need.
“They need to be able to spend time repairing and healing the damage of what’s been done, if that’s possible. And spending time with other women, to gain support from each other.”
Places such as Salford Soul Sister’s have become a lifeline for many over the course of the past year as domestic abuse cases have surged over Greater Manchester, with some 52,987 cases being reported to Greater Manchester Police over the period between May 2020 to April 2021.
This rise has been felt within the Salford Soul Sisters orginisation, with Nicki saying: “I’ve seen a massive increase because of social economic issues in regard to poverty.
“Women are set up to fail, there aren’t any outlet sources to be able to get any peer support.
“For example, 10 of the women who came were prescribed citalopram from the doctor when they reached out for support.
“So it’s as if women internalise socio-economic problems and it’s led them to believe that it’s their problem, it’s internal, it’s some kind of imbalance of chemicals in their brain. When really someone should be addressing the socio-economic problems and the patriarchal system that women have to live in.”
Salford Soul Sister’s meet every Wedneday at Little Hulton Pavilion, more information can be found via their website here.