“Suddenly there was a group of women that I could go and talk to who had shared many of my experiences. Just people that treat you like a human being. They’d make you a coffee and have a chat and we’d just talk about stuff, they got to know you and that was lovely. I hadn’t had that for a long time.”
In 1987, a group of women with experience in the criminal justice and mental healthcare systems joined together to make a change. Each of these women intimately understood just how poorly these systems dealt with women’s experiences and how traumatising that could be.
Things have changed since 1987. But we have consistently fought for women’s voices to be heard in systems that simply aren’t set up for them.
We have pioneered gender-specific and trauma-informed services and we were at the forefront of the development of the gender-specific advocacy model in secure hospitals in 2002. We helped push for the closure of the women’s wings of Broadmoor and Ashworth, profiling the desperate need for gender-specific services.
And we have spent the last 35 years working with women, centering their experiences, and standing with them as they make positive changes in their lives.
To this day, WISH is a user-led charity – meaning that women with lived experience are at the heart of every decision we make, every issue we campaign on, and every service we develop.