Choices - Who are we?
We are a local charity that has been operating in the Dartford and Gravesham areas since 1996. We were originally named Dartford & Gravesham Women’s Aid which we changed to North Kent Women’s Aid in 2008. In 2014 although retaining the legal name of North Kent Women's Aid we became known as Choices. We did this to recognise the work we do with men, women and young people across the wider geographic area of West Kent and Medway.
Choices is a member of the Women’s Aid Federation and is one of the founding members of the North Kent Domestic Abuse Forum.
In 2012 Choices joined with other independent specialist domestic abuse providers to form the Kent Domestic Abuse Consortium (KDAC).
In 2013 Choices took over the services previously supplied by K-DASH in Maidstone, Medway, Tunbridge Wells, and Tonbridge & Malling.
Choices is governed by a Board of Trustees and is a community based organisation providing supportive services to families experiencing domestic abuse.
We employ a number of experienced trained specialists who work to support women and children in refuge and in the community.
As part of a multi agency approach to tackling domestic abuse, we work with other agencies including Borough Councils, the Police, solicitors and Sure Start Children’s Centre, to provide services such as the Freedom Programme and the One Stop Shops.
We deliver specialised training and presentations on domestic abuse, as part of our endeavours to raise awareness and inform public opinion.
Choices - Our Aims
Our aim is to provide temporary refuge for women and their children who have had to flee their own homes due to domestic abuse.
We also aim to provide support and advice to any woman in the community who needs our services.
We also aim to increase awareness of domestic abuse by giving presentations and training to other voluntary and statutory organisations.
We also provide additional services such as –
facilitating community programmes such as the Freedom programme, the Recovery Toolkit and the DAY programme
advice and support at the One Stop Shops in Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.
raising awareness of domestic abuse in schools and work with the children helping them understand the difference between a healthy an non healthy relationship
providing support and advice to anyone who needs our services
operating a confidential Helpline 0800 917 9948
working closely with the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) supporting high risk victims of domestic violence
providing presentations and training on Domestic Abuse.
In addition to providing refuge services, since 2011 Choices have also provided temporary hostel accommodation and support to homeless young men and women aged between 16 and 25 years old. Although this group do not have to experience domestic abuse to be provided accommodation, we believe the very fact that they are homeless makes them vulnerable and in need of support. There will be a separate referral process for this group and separate contact details.
How We Can Help
We will listen to what you have to say
We will be supportive and non judgemental
We will give you information about options available to you so that you can make an informed decision about your future.
We can advise you about refuge accommodation locally and nationally
We can signpost you to other agencies who can help
We can reassure you that it is not your fault.
Abuse takes many forms – it is not just physical – and can leave you feeling worthless and helpless.
If you want further advice or simply just to talk then phone our Confidential Helpline 0800 917 9948.