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Who we are

We know that people who are in controlling and potentially dangerous relationships usually tell their families and friends before they ask for help from specialist services.


We believe that you, as families, friends and community members, are best placed to offer support and have an important role to play in helping people subjected to abuse.


We also recognise that you may need support, information and other tools to effectively help the people you care about.

We want to work with you to make this happen. Together we can find a way.

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About us

We are a Sunderland based project supporting people across Sunderland and the surrounding area.

This project was made possible due to support and funding from Comic Relief.

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Findaway is a project created by Wearside Women in Need (WWIN), together with Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) and 5 other organisations.

"Families, friends and neighbours - you are often the first to learn about abuse and can be best placed to offer support. You are the first line of protection for people subjected to abuse, not services."


We recognise domestic abuse and violence against women and girls as both a cause and a consequence of societal inequality between men and women, and that whilst anyone can experience and perpetrate abuse, domestic abuse is disproportionately perpetrated by men and women are disproportionally subjected to abuse.  


Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) is a national charity working across England and Wales, providing specialist and expert advocacy and practical and emotional help for families after fatal domestic abuse. AAFDA is also a centre of excellence for reviews into domestic homicides, suicides and unexplained deaths following domestic abuse. We are particularly skilled in Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) methodology and best practice having been closely involved in developing the model with the Home Office since 2008, three years before they became law.


Using our specialist knowledge and collective insights we help agencies to refine their services for victims and to review domestic abuse related deaths more effectively. We provide a unique national voice for the learning that each DHR generates. While no two cases are the same, we believe that each DHR is an opportunity to end domestic abuse. 

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WWIN (Wearside Women in Need) is a women-led, specialist domestic abuse service that delivers highly respected, trauma-informed victim support services across Sunderland and Wearside. They deliver training for community members and professionals on responding and supporting survivors of domestic abuse.


The Angelou Centre is one of the few surviving black-led women’s organisations in the North East, having been in operation for over 25 years. Critically, the Angelou Centre provides a specialist integrative programme of support for black and minoritised women and children who have been subject to domestic and sexual violence, face multiple forms of discrimination and often have associative complex needs. The Angelou Centre's holistic violence against women and girls’ services comprise of refuge accommodation (including provision for women without recourse to funds), specialist advocacy, outreach, therapeutic support and recovery programmes for survivors. 


Respect is a pioneering UK membership organisation in the domestic abuse sector. The charity leads on the development of safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims, and young people using violence in their close relationships. 

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The Alice Ruggles Trust was established in 2017 following the murder of Alice by her ex-partner after a relentless stalking campaign.  We aim to raise awareness of stalking and coercive control, to ensure that relevant legislation is effective and adhered to, and to bring about lasting improvements in the management of perpetrators and the protection of victims.  Stalking is a horrific crime that affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men across the course of their lifetime.  It is a psychological crime leading to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in almost 78% of victims, and, in the worst cases such as Alice’s, is also a violent crime potentially leading to murder.    

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The role of Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, is to give the people of the North East a voice on all things police and crime related as well as making the police answerable to the communities they serve. In her role as PCC, Kim has launched a funding opportunity to give back the proceeds of crime to deserving community causes and has rolled out campaign activity to promote women’s safety on nights out, in parks and on the region’s public transport.  Her office is also known for setting up Northumbria’s Violence Reduction Unit. The Unit takes a public health approach and is committed to co-ordinating efforts between police and partners to find long-term solutions to address inequality and deprivation. Her priorities centre around fighting crime, preventing crime and improving lives. Kim is driving a powerful agenda in the North East – to fight crime, we have to fight poverty first.


Surviving Economic Abuse is led by  founder and CEO, Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs OBE, who is supported by a growing team and Board of Trustees. Nicola is an expert in economic abuse as it occurs within the context of coercive control. She has worked in the violence against women and girls (VAWG) sector since 2006 in both policy-influencing and research roles.  

In 2016, Nicola was made a Winston Churchill Fellow and travelled to the United States and Australia to explore innovative responses to economic abuse. It was her determination to ensure that women in the UK have access to the same responses that led her to establish SEA.

Thank you to all our Steering Group members, partner organisations and friends who have informed, inspired and contributed to the information and resources on this site, including Jewish Women's Aid, Welsh Women's Aid and Women's Aid Federation of England.

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