Thank you - your kind donations help us to provide a 7 day a week helpline, community based outreach services to support families across Surrey and operate two secret refuges to enable women and children to escape from life threatening domestic abuse and violence. The donations also help to secure housing, furniture and other essential items to furnish a house.
Our Services for Women and Children
Over the course of the last three months – March, April and May 2018 – Your Sanctuary continued to deliver community based outreach services providing emotional and practical support to women experiencing domestic abuse in Woking, Runnymede and Surrey Heath and to men across the whole of Surrey. Over the three-month period, we helped women and men through face-to-face community outreach programmes.
In addition, through our 7 day a week, 9am to 9pm, helpline we responded to approximately 625 phone calls.
Nominated as the Mayor’s Charity
Your Sanctuary, was nominated as the Mayor’s charity from May 2017 to May 2018. As a result, we took part in an inspirational ’This girl can’ event at Woking Leisure Centre in March 2018, to encourage women to get out and be more active. Organised by Woking Borough Council and Sport England, it was attended by inspirational female speakers and attendees were encouraged to turn their adventure and sporting goals into fundraising activity for Your Sanctuary. During the event Your Sanctuary raised awareness of the work it does to help survivors of domestic abuse and the restorative power of exercise for mental health to aid recovery.
The Freedom Programme
Over the last three months, your support has helped Your Sanctuary to provide ongoing practical help and support to women by offering two six week Freedom Programmes, for women who are still with or who have left abusive relationships.
When the perpetrators prey on vulnerable women, it is important we help women to recognise the signs of an abusive partner, identify the different types of abusers and how they operate. This equips women not only with the information they need to understand what happened to them but also that they do not repeat the pattern with a new partner.
The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.
Our Freedom Programme key workers have run two six-week, 2 hour, programmes between March and May 2018. This work is particularly important when women have left refuge as they need physical and emotional comfort and, without the support of friends and family nearby, we do not want women to seek comfort in another abusive relationship.
Case Study 1: Mother and three children successfully secured housing locally
With support from Your Sanctuary, a woman with two children and a baby, had to flee her abusive and violent partner suddenly one day in fear of her life. To prevent abusive partners from finding out, women often collect their children from school one lunchtime and leave without telling anyone. They leave behind family, friends and so any social support network and relocate to a new town in the UK often hundreds of miles away. This woman and her children came to a secret refuge run by Your Sanctuary and stayed for six months. She had weekly meetings with her key worker in the refuge and was provided with all the specialist care, practical and emotional support throughout her stay.
Her children were able to use the playroom that is equipped with toys, books, arts & crafts materials, all of which is used to help the children in their recovery. Your Sanctuary provide individual and group therapeutic support and play for children, which aims to undo the harm caused by witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse. It helps the children to understand that the abuse was not their fault, rebuild self-esteem and confidence.
Your Sanctuary also helps the children in the transition from refuge to life in the community. Often it is one of the hardest things for the charity to see a family relocated at the end of their 6 months stay in refuge to a new town and location, where they need to rebuild their lives once more. The charity is delighted that this mother and her children have secured housing locally, so they can keep the friends they have made and the children can continue in the same school.
With your contributions Your Sanctuary has been able to provide this family with furniture, crockery and some soft furnishings to make their new house feel more like home. They continue to need outreach services and support to help them establish their new lives. Unfortunately, domestic abuse doesn't just leave physical scars. Ongoing specialist support, provided by our outreach team, is vital to the emotional and mental recovery of women and their children.
Your Sanctuary remains most grateful to GlobalGiving for helping to support its work with women and children to prevent domestic abuse and undo the damage it does to individuals and families from diverse communities, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, socio-economic groups and age brackets.
Without the assistance of charitable organisations like GlobalGiving, the work that we do with vulnerable women and children would be severely curtailed. We would also not be able to offer the range of direct services or provide comprehensive prevention, advocacy and educational programmes.