Escape Site

Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG)

The YOU Trust started in 1985 working with women within our refuge and single women’s service. Violence against Women and Girls was not a government-led strategy then and women supported women the best we could.
We knew that domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking and forced marriage disproportionately affected, and still affects, women and girls.

Our interventions were built for women by women. Slowly, we came out of the shadows and worked openly in society. We used outreach teams in our local communities, working in schools and in all partner agencies. As a result of this work we have built up a brilliant and strong team – PARAGON, which is mainly staffed by women, many with lived experiences.

We are committed to end violence against women. Our work is guided by the Convention on the Eliminations of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDWA was adopted by the United Nations in 1979. These fundamental human rights were instrumental in bringing to light areas in which women are denied equality with men.

We design our interventions with the women we work with to ensure we meet all 11 VAWG standards. We are committed to working in VAWG’s core standards with a focus on the gendered nature of violence and abuse.
Many of our team are feminists. We work in a female-led organisation where women hold senior posts. They are empowered to speak, to lead and to be the best version of themselves. This includes staff, volunteers, champions, ambassadors, people we work with and people in our community. We strive to build, develop and give voices to all women to be heard. We remain true to our roots and, whilst we work with all victims of DVA, we also have single sex woman only services.

The team at PARAGON have pace, purpose and passion and will advocate for any woman, to amplify her voice and her words and ensure they are listened to.

PARAGON is represented by a multi-faceted diamond and this logo was designed to also represent the multiple and intersecting issues that many of us face within our everyday lives, and the intersecting oppressions from patriarchy through to racism, homophobia and ageism.
paragon diamond
We work in awareness and hope to represent all women who we work and live with, in our diverse communities. We strive to have anti-oppressive practice and inclusive language and, as a learning team, know that we will keep learning from every woman we work with. Together we are stronger and we are here for you when you are ready to contact us.

The PARAGON blog

Stalking: A true story

Stalking: A true story

Stalking can appear in many different forms. It’s often portrayed as being carried out by a current or past partner. But this crime can be...

read more
Religion as a coercive tool

Religion as a coercive tool

Religion as a coercive tool is more common than you might think. We asked one of our frontline workers to tell us about her experiences with...

read more
Let’s talk about consent!

Let’s talk about consent!

When supporting young people with understanding healthy relationships, sessions and discussions about consent are important. It offers a safe...

read more