anonymousBristolI was so scared, I couldn’t trust no one, everything was so strange and everybody was very kind!...I didn’t know what to think? I believed my partner when he told me that if I tell anyone about what is going on in our home then Social Service will take my boys away from me. This is why I never told nobody, I was very happy when this woman came to me in the Police Station and she start talking to me in my language but I was feeling scared, very scared! I couldn’t understand how I can be helped? The woman from Opoka explained to me what right I have and that I am not alone, she will help and I believed her! She changed my life, Thank you!
anonymous BristolI don’t know what I will do without help received from women's at Opoka, I had no family, my partner didn’t want me or the baby, I felt so alone and couldn’t speak English, in hospital going through very difficult procedures communication is the key!, I didn’t understand simple commands and questions from nurses and Doctor’s. One of Opoka Volunteer is a Midwife she was asked to assist in operation theatre to help with translation and the other Opoka volunteer took care of my baby. She did all the work to keep me, and my baby safe, I wouldn’t be here today to say how grateful I am if I never turn for help to Opoka
Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner
The PCC began the day visiting Opoka who provide advice and support to Eastern European women who are fleeing violent relationships perpetrated by their husbands or partners in the UK. Opoka aim to bring out of isolation these women and children who are hidden and due to cultural barriers are more unlikely to get lifesaving support and help they need.
Speaking after the visit, Sue said: “For such a small agency Opoka has done amazing work and have supported over hundreds victims of domestic abuse in the last year. The Polish community can often be seen as a hidden minority and we need to make sure that there is support available wherever and whenever a victim needs it.
Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Manager
Safer Poole Partnership
"I can’t thank you enough for coming yesterday! I have had a couple of emails from people saying how useful they found it. It has definitely given us all something to think about and has made me think that we need to do more to reach out to the Polish community. It has made me think how isolated women must be if they are experiencing domestic abuse. It would be really good to have a chat with you to start thinking about how we can start to look at how we can raise awareness of domestic abuse and what support services are available to Polish women
Community Development Officer,
Neighbourhood Management Service,
Bristol City Council"
Lovely to meet Opoka the other day and to hear of the great work this organisation is doing. Pure dedication and commitment!
anonymousBristolI want to share my experiences with you, I was in deep depression in a severe mental state by events that took place in the house where I live, I lost my job and all my savings, and had a very sick child. At that time, a woman from my child nursery came to me sent to me by my child's doctor who saw my condition that something is wrong ..... This woman tried to help me, but I did not want to say anything for fear that they would take my baby, even though from the inside I shouted I want someone to help me get away from here and to have peace of mind ... but no one could help me because I did not want to talk. She really wanted to help me and therefore she did not give up and started looking for someone who speaks in my native language in the hope that I might open up then ... And she found the Opoka. I did not want to go anywhere because I did not want to talk to anyone about what was going on at my house, I said I did not need help with the fear for my child and the stories I listened to in this country etc ... At first I thought I misunderstood and I thought she was talking about support for my baby - not for me that's why I went there. I did not regret! I got great help and support, the people who help in Opoka do not hesitate to do anything even though they did not receive money for their work helped me in everything I needed help, with such as great understanding, compassion, love without judging me simply helped me with all strength they could. With Opoka support I was placed in safe home for mothers with with children. The cooperation lasted 18 months. Today I have my house just started furnished it, I do not lack nothing especially peace :)