Where it all began

In 1988 a group of local women from Blackburn & Darwen identified a lack of provision for support services for victims of domestic abuse. Support from the council enabled the group to open a 2 bedroom refuge and employ a refuge worker in 1989.

In 1998 the Wish Centre was opened and provided direct access and a helpline to women in the borough. In 2014 the organisation changed its name from Blackburn Women's Aid to Blackburn & Darwen District without Abuse as we now offer support to male and female victims.

The charity is a Company limited by guarantee, governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association dated 1st May 2006. The Board of Trustees is formed by co-opted members who offer their specific expertise.

The aim of the organisation is to support people who have suffered or who are at risk of suffering domestic abuse, through the provision of support, advice and accommodation. We will work with victims and their families to secure the safety of those affected by domestic abuse and support their development so that each individual is helped to grow and fulfil their potential into the future.

We recognise that domestic abuse can impact anyone in our communities however it is clear from research and practice that it predominately affects women and girls and the impact on them is far greater. ​It is clear that domestic abuse is a crime that impacts predominantly on women and girls and it is important that the gendered nature of domestic abuse is understood. From the early 1990s we became affiliated to Women’s Aid Federation of England (WAFE) to reflect the views of the founders and early trustees. We have held true to these values throughout our long history.

All who are part of the Wish Centre (BDDWA) firmly believe that women and girls who are victims of domestic abuse should have safe spaces to receive support and recover from their experiences. This does not mean we turn our backs on male victims and to ensure their safety and well-being we will ensure they are offered appropriate support and advice.  

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