Through the work they do, our family department see daily the impact domestic abuse has on victims, the difficulties they face in attempting to escape the abuse, and the life-changing positives that come when they receive the right support.
One major step in this support process is the provision of a safe place for the victim to go when they take the dangerous step to escape. Often victims have been marginalised from friends and family over time, and can feel as though they need to remain in what is an unbearable situation as they have nowhere else to go.
Refuges and safe houses provide these secure options, and charities such as HARV are excellent in their ability to support victims in not just finding a place in a refuge or safe house, but helping them get there safely and ensuring they have essential items on their arrival.
Unfortunately the number of refuge bed spaces in England is now 30% (1,715 bed spaces) below the number recommended, and the result of this is that last year 64% of refuge referrals nationally were declined (source: HARV Housing). This is alarming as refuge referrals occur at a point a victim has taken the decision to escape the abuse and without access to a refuge victims may have no option but to remain with their perpetrator until a place is found. It is imperative that those seeking to escape domestic abuse have urgent means to do so, and access to such services should be a priority.
Recently we saw an appeal from HARV housing, who were looking for funding under the Aviva community fund, to enable them to furnish a new safe house they have acquired to support an additional 4 victims and up to 8 children. HARV is a non-profit, independent charitable organisation that aims to respond to the issues and needs of victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse by providing quality and empowering services. HARV Housing focuses on providing specific support in relation to housing advice, refuge searches and safe house accommodation.
They required £2000 to meet the funding goal and donations already made had just reached £1440.
We know all too well the benefits such places provide, and so had no hesitation in donating the £540 needed to ensure they hit their £2000 target. HARV, we’ve #GotYourBack, keep up the great work.
Debbie Fawcett – CEO at HARV stated “HARV Housing would like to thank Watson Ramsbottom for their support. Our team is now able to purchase furniture so two of our additional safe houses can open in 10 days”.
Director and Head of Family Rachel Horman-Brown added “The ability to access refuge can sometimes mean the difference between life or death for some woman and children as they are at a much higher risk of homicide on leaving an abusive relationship and as a result we saw how vital it was that HARV were able to furnish their refuge and be able to accept women and children as soon as possible as COVID-19 has increased the incidence of domestic abuse dramatically”
As ever with such things, there is always more that can be done. With the target met, they are now looking for additional funding to provide welcome packs for every women and child that accesses their safe houses. Such packs would include new duvets, pillows, towels, pyjamas and toiletries, helping to create a more homely environment and make women and children feel safer and more secure in their new surroundings at what would be a troubling and vulnerable time.
If you are interested in donating towards this secondary goal, you can visit the funding page here.
For further information on HARV and the work they do, you can visit their website here.
We can help victims to escape the nightmare of domestic abuse, even those who have attempted to report this previously and felt unsupported having done so.
We have a live web chat service available on our website, which victims can access from 9.30am – 9pm, 7 days a week. Our support for victims of domestic abuse is not bound by standard business hours, we are accessible when the support is needed
If you need our help, speak to us. If you know somebody who needs our help, please urge them to speak to us when it is safe to do so. Our team are on hand and ready to assist. We’ve Got Your Back.