Sara’s partner had raped, abused and systematically controlled her years.  He made sure she didn’t see friends or family unless he said she could.  She was not allowed to choose her own clothes, items in the house, what she watched on telly or what food she bought from the shop.  Her young children did not understand what was happening.  They were all scared, confused and ashamed.

Sara had worked in a local business in an office, she earnt her own money.  Her partner had a reasonable income.  He controlled the finances and she did not have access to any money.  Close to her daughter's birthday, her husband refused to give her any money for presents.  This was the breaking point for Sara, once he went out to the pub she contacted the Live Fear Free Helpline to get advise and was offered a room at CarmDas safe accommodation.  Sara drove herself and her children to the refuge before he returned.  

Sara was welcomed at the refuge by a support worker, they arrived in the clothes stood in and no money.  They were given new pyjamas, underwear, toothpaste and toothbrushes, towels and a small parcel of tea, coffee, sugar, squash, bread, cheese and milk.  The children had a small toy each to welcome to the house. The family were shown their room which and they were able to sleep safely.

Over the coming weeks the team supported Sara and her children  to start to rebuild their lives. They helped her settle into the area, register with a GP, found school places for her children.  They helped her access benefits and legal services.  They listened to her and her children and supported her emotionally. 

There were waiting times for benefits to come through so the team helped her access the foodbank, source school uniform and resources for the children.  The refuge was warm and safe, and the children enjoyed the company of other children within the shared areas and Sara could start to rebuild her life.

CarmDas is a small, local charity and without support from the community, could not provide the essentials a family needs when they leave domestic abuse.

If you would like to help a family like Sara’s you can help by donating to an appeal, signing up for a monthly donation or making a small one off donation.


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