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Mums In Need

Laura Riley


Mums in Need Logo

Mums In Need is a Sheffield-based charity who support mothers to overcome abusive relationships and coercive control. They aim to help mothers get their confidence and lives back, and to once more feel in control,

Laura Riley is the founder of Mums In Need and set the charity up after leaving an abusive relationship 13 years ago. Years later Laura is still paying the price of that relationship and  knows how important it is to get the emotional support that her charity offers.

New mum holding little baby in white

New mum holding little baby in white

Coincidentally she started Mums In Need on the 14th February but it is not just Laura that keeps it running. There is a whole team that pull together to work on different aspects of the charity and it is this team that are key. From marketeers to case workers, every single person who volunteers their time to support is an essential cog in the wheel of Mums In Need. To keep it growing and thriving they need more volunteers and supporters, people who can help them fight to make it work and offer more support to those mums in need.

They have helped hundreds of women rebuild their lives after leaving an abusive partner, Abuse comes in many forms, it is not just physical. Coercive control can not only involve physical violence, but also manipulation, intimidation and threatening behaviour to terrorise the victim. Emotional abuse is much more subtle and can be used to exert control by building up over time so that the victim may not necessarily recognise it until it is too late.

woman having her mouth covered by a mans hand

woman having her mouth covered by a mans hand

The 10 most common signs of abusive behaviour that are not physical include the following;


The abuser forces their partner to question their recall of events and begins to contradict and deny things said previously.

Abusive ‘jokes’

Meant to belittle and undermine in public and in front of friends and family.

Irrational guilt

Manipulating a situation to make their victim feel they are at fault.


Wanting to know where you are at all times and who you are with.

Unprovoked Jealousy

The aim of this is to alienate your friends and family until you are ultimately in isolation.

Financial Control

Spending is monitored and questioned. You are no longer allowed to freely spend the money you have earned.

Emotional Stonewalling

They may withdraw from their partner physically and emotionally for days at a time without any reasonable explanation.

Grand Gestures

May be made in order to try and appease their victim to compensate for their behaviour. To outsiders this may look like a romantic and loving gesture.

Preferring to be by yourself

Feeling a sense of relief when your partner goes out or spends a few days away.

Lack Of Empathy

They are unable to show any compassion for your problems. You are judged to be too emotional and overreacting.

The Mums In Need team offer a tailored service to individual women, providing them with a community of fellow-survivors, experienced professionals and the support to rebuild their lives. They have supported over 250 women by offering a range of support including counselling, 1:1 sessions, legal support through family court, financial advice, self-esteem and stress management workshops, yoga and well-being sessions and much-needed pampering such as massage and beauty treatments.

If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help please contact the Mums In Need team

They are also looking for people to help the charity so if you can support, please get in touch.

“Mums In Need has been an absolute life line to me in my hour of need. A friend had heard about MIN and mentioned to me 2 years ago so I got in contact.  Since then I have felt supported and can now understand what has happened to me in my previous abusive relationship. Up until this point, I was struggling being a single mum and dealing with the abuse which I was blamed for.  I attend regular sessions including wellbeing, fitness and discussion groups and feel it has allowed me to put into perspective what has happened to me.  Just knowing that it was 'abuse' came as a major realisation to me, as for decades I wondered why I could never do anything right.  I now have regular contact with a MIN caseworker who is happy to listen, give advice and signpost me to other services.  This is invaluable along with all the other services they offer.  I really don't know whether I could have escaped from 'the blackhole' I was in, without them.  I now feel more confident and am able to move forward in my life.  I feel there is now a barrier between myself and my abuser.  Just knowing the abuse was real and it can be addressed and worked through, is an amazing feeling.  Friends and family have always offered support, but MIN really understands.  It's important to reach out for help, and I am so lucky that MIN was there, and in Sheffield!  The abuse and all it's fall out, stopped me from completing my studies last year, but this year I have found a new confidence to apply for a new job within my workplace and also to look at restarting my studies.  I really don't think this would have been possible earlier in my situation.  I am so grateful to MIN.”

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