Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Domestic abuse project under way

Domestic violence
The programme examines the effects of domestic violence on children

A support group for women affected by domestic abuse is to launch a new 12-week programme in a Berkshire borough.

The Freedom Programme aims to put women who wish to learn more about the reality of abuse in touch with others who have had similar experiences.

It also examines the effects of abuse on children and helps women to recognise potential future abusers.

The programme will begin on 18 November in Maidenhead, said the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council.

Strong friendships

It also introduces domestic violence survivors to resources such as Women's Aid, the police domestic violence unit and the Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, according to its website.

Councillor Colin Rayner, the local authority's cabinet member with responsibility for community safety, said: "Domestic abuse affects the victim's life in many ways - psychologically, emotionally and physically.

"We know that women who attend the programme often form strong friendships and this enables them to support each other once it is finished."

Sophie Wing-King, Berkshire east domestic abuse co-ordinator, said: "The group helps women feel stronger and gain self esteem and confidence in order to improve their lives and their children's lives."

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