Domestic abuse charity relaunches

Victims of domestic violence will be getting more support thanks to a campaign led by a local abuse survivor.

Sam Billingham, of Quarry Bank, was physically and psychologically abuse for three years before finding the strength to leave her relationship in 2006.

In April 2009, Sam decided to set up an online support group called Survivors of Domestic Abuse (SODA). Now, the 34-year-old is starting a campaign to expand the group, holding a re-launch event at the Tesco Extra store in Stourbridge's Crown Centre. She's already got a number of local organisations, including West Midlands Police, and Brummie celebrity, Dee Kelly, to back her cause.

Speaking to the Stourbridge News, Dee who is a regular guest on Black Country Radio, said: “When Sam told me what she was trying to do, and what women and men who have been domestically abused have to go through, I thought there was no way that I could refuse to help.

“Domestic violence shouldn’t be happening, however people are too frightened and scared to speak out. But with Sam talking about the abuse she suffered, it shows people that it's good to get your story out and it will encourage and help others who are going through the same thing.”

Sam’s work with SODA has so far been done on a voluntary basis, but she now hopes to work alongside agencies and professionals, as well as gaining funding from local businesses and Dudley Council.

Sam said: “Since starting the group I have dedicated all my time, experience and money to using social media to raise awareness and promote the support we offer online."

For more information about SODA, or to contact Sam, visit


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