Our services are available for young women who meet the following criteria:
Aged between 16 and 25 years
Disclosure of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape and/or other forms of sexual abuse, including exploitation through prostitution
Homeless, at risk of homelessness or in inappropriate accommodation
Vulnerable to the following: crime, sexual exploitation, drug/alcohol misuse, eating disorders, self-harm, other mental health problems
Ability to live semi-independently
Willingness to share accommodation if applicable
Willingness to accept support and work with project staff on mutually identified issues
The Accommodation Project consists of five independent flats and one shared flat with 2 bedrooms all within the one building. One flat is fully adapted and accessible for women with disabilities. We have a further outreach flat a short distance away for young women who are more independent. All flats are fully furnished with all bedding, towels, TV, fully equipped kitchen provided.
Tenants are expected to be capable of semi-independent living and are responsible for heating, lighting and council tax payments. SAY Women offers short term agreements for a period of up to 18 months; tenancies are renewed every 6 months by mutual agreement of both parties.
We are committed to involving our users within the service and monthly meetings are held where issues and information are exchanged between staff and tenants. Tenants also meet directly with members of the Board.
The support offered is on the basis of assisting young women to prepare for a more independent lifestyle. Tenants are allocated a key worker who provides practical and emotional support through a care plan system which is agreed with the tenant. SAY Women staff include a designated keyworker who provides emotional 1:1 support. Practical support with life skills is also offered during the young women’s tenancy and during the resettlement process.
SAY Women staff are experienced in providing support to survivors of childhood sexual abuse and associated issues, and working within residential settings. During their stay tenants are able to look at the difficulties surrounding their childhood sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse often underpins many of the 'presenting' problems, and the ability to examine feelings around the trauma of their abuse assists in the process of gaining control over their lives and developing self-assurance and a sense of wellbeing.
Young women will begin to prepare for their move to their own tenancy or other more appropriate accommodation 1 year into their tenancy. The Key Workers will assess the young woman’s practical life skills, support them to develop their skills further and support to engage with partner agencies, including Housing.
The Key Workers will support the young women during the 6 week transition period moving from the Accommodation Project into their tenancy and will visit the young woman again 6 weeks late to ensure all practical supports are available and encourage further engagement where needed.
During this period the young women will be offered ongoing support at the Resource Service, with a focus on resettlement, but also providing support with ongoing issues, such as emotional / mental health difficulties, court proceedings and childcare issues where necessary.
Although this service is focussed on young women completing 18 months in their tenancy, support will also be available for young women who leave the Accommodation Project earlier.
Hours of Service
Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 9.30pm
Plus a 24-hour on-call service for emergencies
Our Resource Workers are committed and enthusiastic about their work and have the knowledge and experience to support you during your involvement with the service. The staff are based in our Bell Street offices which are welcoming and comfortable. There is a security buzzer entry system and there are other organisations based in the building so it will not be obvious who you are coming to see.
When you first meet a Resource Worker, you can discuss your needs and what you are looking for. The support we offer can range from one meeting to support over a period of time, depending on what you need and how you feel. We aim to make the support as flexible as possible to allow you to access it at a pace that suits you.
If you are initially unsure if you want to talk, the Resource Worker will be happy to explain more about the support on offer so YOU can decide whether it sounds right for you. If you wish to use the service, we will arrange to see you as soon as possible. At busy times we operate a waiting list, but we also have a Crisis Response process that can provide you with tools and techniques to practice while you wait. You will also then be able to link into our drop-in, so you will never be left without access to services. The support of the Resource Service is mainly emotional, but it also links into SAY Group Work Programmes, events and activities, and we will help you to access additional practical support if you need it.
Hours of Service:
Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 9.30pm
On-call support is available for young women in crisis
National Training for Professionals
We offer training to other agencies and individuals who come into contact with survivors of sexual violence, to enhance and improve the quality of services available.
Through training, consultancy and support work SAY Women aims to extend worker's knowledge on childhood sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault, its connection to homelessness, and to increase their ability to respond to the issues survivors present with. All training packages are devised to meet the specific needs of services and focus on building worker's capacity to understand and deal with survivor's needs. Our programme reflects and contributes to the four key priorities of the Scottish Government's Equally Safe strategy:
Scottish society embraces equality and mutual respect, and rejects all forms of violence against women and girls.
Women and girls thrive as equal citizens: socially, culturally, economically and politically.
Our interventions are early and effective, preventing further violence and maximising the safety and wellbeing of women and girls.
Men desist from all forms of violence against women and girls and perpetrators of such violence recieve a robust and effective response.
Does your organisation work directly or indirectly with survivors of sexual violence?
The SAY Women team can design and deliver information sessions, training workshops and courses tailored to help you better meet the needs of survivors of sexual violence. We work with people from various services including housing, mental health, addiction, street teams and GPs.
Why Child Sexual Abuse is a Homelessness/Housing Issue (2 days*)
These training sessions provide an understanding of the impact of child sexual abuse on survivors’ risk of homelessness and their ability to successfully maintain tenancies.
Following the course participants will be able to recognise the factors of homelessness linked to the experience of childhood sexual abuse and the importance of considering the impacts of childhood sexual abuse during integrated assessments, while seeking ways of establishing the safety of the survivors they may work with.
Working with Survivors with Addiction Issues (2 days*)
The aim of this course is to increase understanding of the complex relationship between substance misuse and childhood sexual abuse. It will provide the ability to identify opportunities to support changes in substance use for survivors and develop skills and confidence around support pathways.
A reflective diary will link the two training days and encourage participants to reflect on their practice in relation to the course content.
Working with Self-Harm
This will increase participants’ awareness of the prevalence and nature of sexual abuse and self-harm. The aim is to be able to identify the various forms of self-harm and the events, feelings and functions behind it, enabling participants to recognise the needs of individuals and respond appropriately.
Improving Skills and Developing Tools for Working with Survivors (2 days*)
This course will raise awareness and explore the impact of child sexual abuse and identify and practice skills required to support disclosure.
Participants will be shown how to identify forms of sexual abuse, recognise the needs of survivors, understand their coping skills and identify relevant support resources.
The second day extends the training to examine values and attitudes around abuse, explore its impact, understand the influence of trauma on recovery and look at the needs of survivors and staff.
Please email us to arrange a course or to discuss your specific needs and any topics you wish to have covered.
*Please note that the sessions of 2 day courses take place at separate times, not on consecutive days.
SAY Women is funded to deliver free training to staff who work within the housing sector. Otherwise the usual charge is £600 for a one day course, and £1000 for a two day course. Fees for small or low funded organisations are negotiable. Please note the cost of renting a training space is not included. Individuals have the opportunity to join our annual running programme, please contact us for information.
If you would like further information about the courses we provide or would like to be added to our training mailing list please click here: