Do you care about the people in your community? Do you have a few hours a month to spread the word about our work? 

We are looking for volunteers who can help us raise awareness around the issues of rural domestic abuse. The work would involve putting up posters and distributing leaflets, going along to community events, giving talks and maybe even running a social group or a coffee morning. 

Living in a rural area can be idyllic, but it can also be quite isolating. It’s not always easy for people to know who they can turn to for help.  

Relationships can be tough, but some relationships are toxic and can be very harmful to the victim. Dominant partners often use coercion as a way of controlling their partner, domestic abuse is not always about violence. It can be the fear of violence or even just the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Many victims normalise this behaviour and may not realise it is abuse. They often have nowhere to go or no one to talk to.  

Sarah was living in a small village on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border. She had been unhappy in her relationship for a number of years. Her husband had grown up in the village and was a popular member of the community. When she moved in with him it wasn’t long before he started to comment on her clothes, on who she was socialising with and even made it difficult for her to see her family. Two children came along and she worked hard trying to make everyone happy and keep the peace at home for the sake of the children. But when he started to ‘poke fun’ at her in front of the children and say how stupid she was and how useless Sarah realised that for her sake, and for the sake of her children, she had to find the courage and strength to leave. 

Help us raise awareness of rural domestic abuse by becoming a volunteer Champion

“It took me ages to realise that my situation was domestic abuse. I just thought I wasn’t a very good wife and that I kept doing things wrong to upset him," Sarah explains. "Now I understand it better I look back and I can see the pattern of his behaviour. Over the years I changed so much to be the person I thought he wanted me to be, but even then it wasn’t enough. Now that I’ve been free for nearly 2 years I am beginning to find myself again. It has been hard for the kids, but kids are resilient and as long as I am there for them to love them and keep them safe then I know I’ve done the right thing for all of us.” 

Help us raise awareness of rural domestic abuse by becoming a volunteer Champion. You would receive training and support to help raise awareness of the issues, signpost victims to the help that is available and challenge attitudes around some patriarchal family values. 

For more information contact Skye Peat at [email protected] or visit The Willow Project webpage