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Domestic abuse survivors take refuge in art


The University of Wolverhampton School of Art has teamed up women who have survived domestic abuse from The Haven Refuge to create artwork for an exhibition based on their experience.

The Haven Wolverhampton supports women and dependent children who are vulnerable to domestic violence, homelessness and abuse.

Set up in 1973, The Haven Wolverhampton is a charitable organisation which provides both practical and emotional support services to women and children who are affected by domestic violence and homelessness. The Haven Wolverhampton is one of the largest refuge providers in the UK.

The 'I am because we are' project was facilitated by Laura Onions, Lecturer in Fine Art, and Fine Art degree student, Jan Norton in response to the interest of women from the Haven in making art.  

Laura said:  "We set up a pilot project in September which ran as an informal drop-in lunchtime session once a week and ten women were involved overall.  They shared their ideas and we all worked collaboratively to produce two significant pieces of work with some examples of initial ideas and works in progress."

Jan said: “It was interesting to hear the women’s great ideas and work collaboratively as a group to develop them into individual pieces of artwork. We used simple materials and techniques and were pleased about what we achieved together.”

The Haven said: "This project gave women the chance to share positive experiences with other women in refuge but also offered women the chance to reconnect with their hobbies which may have been stopped by an abuser.

"The exhibition will give the audience who attend the chance to not just understand the impact of domestic abuse and the importance of services like The Haven; but also the talents of the women themselves and that experiencing abuse does not define a person."

The exhibition of artwork is now on display at Wolverhampton Central Library on the First Floor Gallery as part of the Haven's 16 Days of Activism programme until Tuesday 10th December 2019.



For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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