Portsmouth City of Sanctuary has co-founded the first female-only drop-in service ‘HAVEN’ for women living in Portsmouth who have experienced any form of gender violence. Our co-founders are VISTA & SPA 61 (Harbour Church), and the Medaille Trust. HAVEN has worked with over 150 women since it opened in May 2021. We have supported survivors of sexual gender based violence – FGM, forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, sexual exploitation and women engaged in sex work.
The group consists of various weekly activities that promote independence, increase confidence and empower women to be the best version of themselves. We use a trauma informed approach, and feedback from the women is key in shaping our term time activity schedule.
It is a safe space where women have activities ranging from knitting, sewing, baking, dance and key speakers from across the City. The most popular sessions are arts and crafts which promote good mental health.
To access HAVEN you will need to email us at – [email protected]
HAVEN Project leader
Shamila Dhana, Head of Operations & Safeguarding