The Wish Centre
Black & Darwen District Without Abuse 
North West

What We Do

Blackburn & Darwen District Without Abuse (BDDWA) with the Wish Centre was formed in 1989. BDDWA provides a domestic abuse helpline, an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor service, which includes a specialist Sexual Violence Advisor, and a Floating Support service for householders who have been victims of domestic abuse and continue to feel vulnerable in their homes. They provide refuge accommodation for victims and their children and also offer therapeutic programmes.

Forced Marriage

BDDWA works collaboratively with schools and youth services to educate and raise awareness of issues relating to Domestic Abuse, Forced marriage, Honour Based Abuse and Female Genital Mutilation. Blackburn with Darwen’s population is diverse, with 13.4% of residents having Indian heritage and 12.1% Pakistani. The borough is also a dispersal area and has 350 properties to house individuals and families seeking asylum. The organisation delivers training as part of the local adult & children safeguarding boards on Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage & Female Genital mutilation to professionals, people in the community and to young people via an education programme. For advice or support of any kind please call the helpline on 01254 260465/ 55111 (9am-5pm).

Our Girl Campaign Work

The campaign will focus on a peer mentor strategy as well as forming part of the already existing work delivering sessions on domestic abuse / healthy relationships in schools, colleges and universities. In addition they will engage with young people accessing youth services such as Youth Action / Youth Zone and will use the Our Girl DVD as a resource.  They will also work in partnership with DV services Pan Lancashire and will raise the profile of the project at the Pan Lancs Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and FGM steering group.

Campaign Outcomes

(Please note campaign outcomes are updated monthly)

Training for Frontline Professionals includes:

  • 2 x Multi agency trainings to 49 professionals
  • Multi agency training was delivered to 21 practitioners: nurseries, safeguarding leads from schools, police, health and domestic abuse practitioners.
  • Darwen School assemblies for year 7 and year 8 students with 10 teachers
  • 2 youth workers at Youth Zone
  • 4 x Secondary School workshops to teachers – 11
  • 2 x sessions Domestic Abuse, Honour Based Abuse & Forced marriage awareness session at community centre – 34
  • 1 x session Domestic Abuse, Honour Based Abuse & Forced Marriage awareness session at children’s centre – 20
  • Leeds IDVA professionals training x 24
  • Safeguarding practitioner training for professionals – 24
  • Secondary school safeguarding leads training – Delivered a briefing session on Forced marriage & Honour Based Abuse to safeguarding leads from secondary schools and colleges including safeguarding input on Domestic Abuse, Forced marriage / Honour Based Abuse, Modern Slavery, CSE and Prevent – 70
  • Practitioner training for heath, schools, social workers, children services and adult services- 20
  • IDVA training – 24
  • Women’s Group at Wish Centre – 12
  • Blackburn Town Hall safeguarding training  x 21 professionals from health, schools, social workers from children services and adult services and housing providers attended the session. 

Schools/ University’s/ Colleges workshops and screenings

  • 5 workshops on forced marriage with students attending Darwen Vale secondary school. A total of 130 students took part in the workshops.
  • 20 Our Girl trained peer educators all from a sixth form college doing BTEC Health & Social care have completed Our Girl sessions with 80 students
  • A workshop was held at Westholme Girls School, a private girls school, with a group of year 9’s with 15 students taking part in the workshop.
  • St Mary’s College workshop to 20 students
  • Get Set Group workshop delivered to 15 students
  • 2 x DSL Secondary School 1:1 sessions
  • Secondary school workshop – 10
  • 2 x Darwen School assemblies for year 7 and year 8 students – 400 students and 10 teachers
  • 3 x workshops at Youth Zone with 32 young people and 3 youth workers
  • 2 x workshops in a secondary school with 30 students
  • Everybody Centre young peoples drop in – 30
  • 3 x workshops at Darwen Vale Secondary School  x 80 students
  • Training 2000 working for young people – 20
  • 6 x workshops by peer educators – 140 students
  • 4 x workshops at St Wildred’s – 84 students
  • 6 x secondary school workshops – 90 students
  • 2 x secondary school assemblies – 500 students
  • 2 x secondary school assemblies – 600 students
  • 3 x secondary school workshops – 60 students
  • 4 x secondary school workshops including a pupil referral unit  – 70 students 
  • 2 x secondary school assemblies with screening x 550

Other Our Girl campaign activities

  • Blackburn University Centre freshers fair screening film and distributing leaflets – 160
  • We have raised awareness of the campaign in our local domestic abuse consortium meeting and a Voluntary sector forum meeting.
  • Domestic Abuse strategic board and the Pan lancs Strategic board. We have also advised the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner.
  • Raised the profile of the campaign through the White Ribbon campaign
  • Burnley Football Ground conference – 200 delegates
  • Distributed leaflets at the Prevent conference
  • Distributed leaflets to managers attending the Pan Lancs Domestic Abuse board.
  • Distributed leaflets at the Young people’s resource centre to 35 young people.
  • Introduced the campaign at the Strategic Domestic Abuse board in Lancashire and the Blackburn Domestic Abuse Strategic board.
  • Raised the profile of the campaign at the Domestic Abuse Strategic board alongside an update on the work around forced marriages in the area.
  • Boulevard Centre Volunteer Fair – 80
  • Blackburn University Centre Freshers Fair – 150
  • Blackburn College Freshers Fair – 200

Our Girl Communications Outcomes 

  • Lancashire evening telegraph feature with the Our Girl campaign highlighted x 12, 814
  • Ongoing awareness raising via social media
  • Our Girl promotions through the Day of the Girl campaign 2016
  • Our Girl promotions through 16 Days of Activism campaign 2016

Our Girl materials

  • Our Girl poster
  • Our Girl leaflets
  • On going materials distribution to schools, frontline professionals, networks and contacts through general awareness raising activities.
North West
North West

01254 260465/ 55111


Our Girl Wish Centre film

Affected by forced marriage?

If you or someone you know is at risk of forced marriage, you can contact the Forced Marriage unit on 020 7008 0151 or The Sharan Project on 0844 5043231.
If in immediate danger call the police on 999