Hestia’s Emergency Refuge Winter Appeal

Support our emergency refuge winter appeal and keep our emergency domestic abuse refuge open over Christmas

This year, home has not been a safe place for everyone.

Victims of domestic abuse have been trapped at home, isolated with their abusers and often cut off from support networks. As the second wave looms, this will continue.

Our latest report ‘Domestic Abuse in Lockdown’ showed an alarming increase in the number of calls to Hestia’s Refuge Referral Line, an almost 50 per cent increase in users of our Bright Sky support app and a near 40 per cent jump in the number of people trying to access our domestic abuse services.

At the height of the pandemic, Hestia partnered with local and national government to open 24 new bed spaces for women and children newly fleeing abuse at home.

However, funding for our two new emergency refuges is time limited. It will not see us through the second wave.

Without these additional refuge spaces we will need to turn away women and their children at high risk of harm.

We are urgently seeking to raise £50,000 to keep our emergency refuge open over Christmas and support all those fleeing their homes.

Help us to keep our 12-bed emergency refuge running and provide dedicated, tailored support for women and children fleeing domestic abuse during this challenging time.

With your support, there is a life beyond this crisis.

Support our emergency refuge winter appeal

Nina, Hestia’s children and family worker, reflects on how children living in the refuges feel at Christmas time:

“I remember last Christmas the children kept asking me, ‘What will happen at Christmas? Will Santa come to the refuge or does he just go to homes?’. I took them outside and showed them the chimney and told them 'of course Santa will come, see there’s the chimney'. It’s so hard for them and it’s the innocent questions like this that show just how much has changed for them.”

“We started making Christmas cards this week and the children were so excited. It was also lovely to see the mums getting involved and it ’s activities like these that really bring everyone together in the refuge. The children get a chance to chat to each other and talk about what they will be doing when they get their own house, their own room. That’s a big deal for them, having their own room and no longer sharing with their mum."

Anna* experienced domestic abuse for fours years, this is her story: 

“I was with my partner for nearly four years. He had been abusive before the pandemic but it was when lockdown started and we were stuck in the house together that the abuse became so much worse.

I wanted to leave but I was really worried that there was nowhere to go. I started looking online when I could but I wasn’t sure who would be able to help me during lockdown. Eventually I told a friend what had been happening and she said, ‘pack a bag and leave now, just get out’.

Arriving at the refuge I felt very safe.”

Read Anna’s* full story