Empowerment is a crucial ingredient here that is lacking in traditional models. Systems and processes become exclusive and excluding with ideology based on “experts” and “professionals”, “confidential” and “closed” meetings. There is a huge societal value if we can move away from a them and us mentality; those who “solve” and those who receive the “fixing”. Victor Frankl speaks about people who find meaning in their life surviving anything. Inspire see this in the awakening journey’s of women. As women re-discover their gifts, passion and purpose every part of their lives change. Creating a space for their voices to be heard is a crucial aspect of this.
Our Movement will work towards bringing back awareness and respect for female values, taking responsibility to co-produce our future creating a revolution of belonging that is more women centred, that walks at the pace of women.
We do not want to get caught up in agendas that keep us focused on goals and destination outcomes; we don’t want our approach to be eroded to fit into the next idea, our aspirations eroded. When we move away from the conventional ideas of doing to being we see more women stepping into an empowered space, developing a sense of belonging and community.
Our initial focus for this work has been to support local women to regain their voice and to work towards developing a digital platform for women’s stories, Becoming Visible.
Two local women now attend part of the DV Partnership meetings. We are currently looking at supporting the development of a stakeholder group to ensure women can contribute more to the agenda and discussions. It is hoped that we can replicate this across all decision making groups that impact on women. Another element of this work has been to bring local Women led organisations together. We have begun to explore developing a unified approach to enabling women to influence agendas that affect their lives in Oldham. We have also begun discussions with Oldham Council to start exploring the journey towards developing a Women’s Charter, and women having a greater influence in decision making locally and regionally.
Roxy’s Story: Discovering My Voice – DV Champion
I was at a young age when I first started seeing violence. To me at that age I just thought it was normal, but watching my mum change from the happy smiling person she was to a broken lady and turning to drinking all the time was heart breaking. I ended up moving out of the house when I was 14 I moved around from place to place. When I turned 17 I started drinking and taking drugs and ended up in a violent relationship I started losing a little bit of myself every day I lost a connection I had with family and friends. When I turned 19 I fell pregnant and knew I had to change my life to better my baby. I left the relationship I was in and got my own house and started making a home and getting my connection back with family. My mum didn’t get any better her drinking went worse so when I was 20 I took on my younger brother who was 10 at the time as she couldn’t take care of him anymore. I got to the point where I was taking care of everyone else and not taking time for myself. When I was 28 I had 2 children of my own and my brother who was 17. I felt it was time I started getting my confidence back, finding my voice and who I am. That’s where I found Inspire Women. I knew the first step was walking through them doors and when I did I found where I belonged. It feels like one big family and knowing that I wasn’t the only one going through struggles and always having someone to talk to made a difference. I began Finding Me and it was life changing, I finally found the person I wanted to be. I will always remember the quote Alison told me in one of the sessions – “The past is your lesson, the present is your gift, and the future is your motivation.”
And I really believe this. What happened to me in the past was my lesson . The present is my gift. I have 2 beautiful children and my little brother who is now turning 18 and is doing so well. And the future is my motivation I have my Inspire family who have helped me so much. I am now an associate so I am helping new ladies coming in to the Centre. I recently became part of the Domestic Violence partnership, I am very passionate about ensuring women who experience domestic violence receive services that are shaped around what they want. So I’ve finally found my voice and where I belong.