This year, we are raising vital money for our domestic abuse refuges in North Staffordshire, which provide a safe home for families escaping violence and abuse.
Relationship abuse effects 1 in 4 women in the UK and on average 2 women a week are murdered by a partner or ex partner. For many, refuges are a vital lifeline, providing them with a home and specialist support to help them recover from the trauma of an abusive relationship.
However, in the UK, one in six refuges have closed since 2010 because of a lack in funding. Nationwide, local authority spending on refuges has been slashed from £31.2m in 2010 to £23.9m.
On average 60 per cent of women looking for refuge space are being turned away because there is not enough space. With no money, nowhere safe to go, and nowhere to turn, victims and children are at high risk of returning to their abuser.
In North Staffordshire, 38 families will spend their Christmas in one of Glow’s three refuges. We spoke to a group of women who have spent time in our refuges to see what refuges meant to them.
One customer, Alice*, told us: “Refuges are vital. If it wasn’t for this place I’d be sofa surfing and my children wouldn’t be happy and settled. This is my first step towards getting my life back on track. I feel like a weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders, my confidence is coming back and I can see a future now.”
Another Glow customer, Harriet*, said: “To me this refuge is a secure home, where I can be a survivor not a victim. Without it, I would still be in a violent relationship not being able to be the person I should have always been. I’d still be scared.”
When asked where they thought they would be without the refuge, they all had a similar response: “I would be dead. He would have killed me.”
At Glow, we help children, young people, adults and families rebuild their lives free from abuse. We work to address the issue of relationship abuse, through refuges and other support programmes, help people to overcome the damage it has caused, both mentally and physically, and end it for the future by educating people about healthy relationships.
Our aim is to create a community where no one, no matter their background, identity or circumstances feels vulnerable within their relationships.
You can help us keep our vital refuges running and help support our families by joining our Christmas Appeal. Click here to donate.