The links between Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and Mental ill-health are well documented. Research shows that 69% of women accessing mental health services in England and Wales have experienced domestic and/or sexual abuse. Evidence based practice has highlighted the difficulties faced by mental health services in meeting the needs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence and in dealing with perpetrators.

Women describe various forms of psychological, emotional, financial, sexual & physical control used by partners to subordinate, threaten & isolate them.  Psychological control & emotional abuse is identified as the worst aspect of the abusive relationship, with the lasting psychological impact of that abuse being loss of identity, confidence & self-esteem, anxiety, depression, social isolation, eating problems, harmful use of alcohol & substances, self-harm & suicidal ideation.

Women’s Aid RCT have identified an ever increasing number of women experiencing domestic abuse presenting with significant mental health issues.  During the last quarter 79% of women accessing refuge space in RCT presented with identified mental health issues.  Analysis of our data and consultation with support staff and clients over the last 2 years demonstrates that in addition to the % of women with diagnosed mental health issues prior to admission, a significant proportion recognise having mental health issues but have not previously self-referred into health services due to fear of stigma and the negative impact in family courts of being diagnosed with poor mental health associated with the domestic abuse they have experienced.

To provide the appropriate support to this client group we are looking to recruit a Mental Health Support Advocate. We are looking for a dynamic individual with considerable experience of mental health care to provide a key link between health care professionals and specialist domestic abuse services.  Providing direct support to explore options and interventions in partnership with GP’s to meet the needs of women with mental ill health who have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence. Based at our Pontypridd offices but providing one to one support to women residing in crisis accommodation or engaging with community based services across RCT.

Funding for this post has been secured initially for 1 year with further funding depending on the outcomes achieved from the pilot.

Women’s Aid in RCT supports women and their children and due to the nature of its  work only employs women.  The organisation is exempt under the Sex Discrimination Act, Section 7.2 (e).

For an informal discussion please contact Charlie Arthur – Chief Executive Officer on 07506 800836 or email

Closing Date for completed applications – 5pm on Friday 17th March 2017

For an application pack please contact Katherine Jenkins on 01443 400791 or email

Posted on: March 2, 2017