West Cumbria Domestic Violence – ‘The Freedom Project’

West Cumbria Domestic Violence Support was set up by Shirley Williams, Carole Launder and Susan James in 1997. Initially it was established to provide counselling and support to adult victims of domestic abuse in Copeland and Allerdale but now includes work with perpetrators of domestic abuse and children.

Clients are offered a flexible, free of charge support package called the Freedom Project, which consists of one-to-one counselling and group programmes offering training and peer support.

The aim of this project is to stop domestic abuse in West Cumbria, help survivors to move on and perpetrators to change their behaviour.

Over a three year period the project will provide information, advice and guidance to a total of 519 victims, perpetrators and children who are Copeland residents.
WCDVS also provide a helpline, staffed by volunteers, and volunteers will also provide practical support – for example accompanying a victim to court.

Carole Launder said, “West Cumbria Domestic Violence Support / Freedom Project is a much needed service in our area. Statistics tell us that domestic abuse is 5% higher in West Cumbria than the national average. It has been hard work for the past 19 years to build up an organisation from 3 people with only a mobile phone to the professional organisation it is today. Our overarching aim is to break the repeat cycle of domestic abuse in all its forms, leading to permanent changes in the wellbeing of the people of West Cumbria. Left unaddressed domestic abuse can become self-perpetuating and can be passed on for one generation to another; therefore, it is vital that we continue to work towards achieving permanent change”


  • £131,668 Match Funding
  • 213 Local People assisted in their Skills Development
  • 8,388 number of Volunteer Hours
  • 2.5 Full Time Equivalent Jobs Safeguarded
  • 705 Local People who access a Community/Sport/Cultural Opportunity/Facility


  • Victims/survivors, perpetrators and children will recover from their experiences of abuse and have ambitions and aspirations for the future
  • Victims will have the skills and confidence and empowerment to keep themselves safe and healthy, take control of their lives, access employment, training, providing improved life chances and healthier communities
  • Perpetrators will change their behaviour breaking the cycle of violence, anger and criminally improve life chances for themselves, their partners and children
  • Children will feel safe and secure, communicate more healthily, express and understand feelings without fear, better life chances/improved health
  • Our clients will become fully autonomous individuals with raised self-esteem able to take responsibility for themselves and their children