A charity that provides support for women caught up in the criminal justice system says the creation of a safe space in Bristol is a vital step.
The service offered by SHE (Support Help Engagement), through The Nelson Trust, is the first of its kind in the city and works to break down some of the many barriers preventing women from accessing support and helps divert them away from prison.
A safe, women-only space in Old Market, providing one to one support, peer group sessions and workshops opened this summer.
Thanks to a collaboration with First, those using the service can now access free bus tickets as well because, for many, the cost of travel is a huge barrier to accessing services.
The women-only space is open one day a week and SHE delivers the rest of its services through outreach work.
Avon and Somerset Police was instrumental in setting up SHE in 2017 in a bid to establish a point of arrest diversion scheme for women, in partnership with other organisations.