1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes. 

Getting them to safety as quickly as possible is crucial. Fleeing is a time of high risk for survivors and their children, so we must act fast to help them reach a domestic abuse refuge.  

Lauren’s story of escape: 

"I still remember the day I decided to leave my husband. I had two suitcases and I remember telling the children we must be quick.    

Things had been very hard at home before I decided to leave. I was married for ten years and during that time my husband controlled my life and enjoyed publicly humiliating me. 

 At first I stayed for the children but when my daughter, who was seven years old, told me that she had heard her father saying that he wanted to kill me, I knew I had to leave. 

When we arrived at Hestia’s refuge, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe I had left, I was so relieved. That one room we had felt like a mansion. While at the refuge I got some support for my depression and I know what I need to do now to keep mentally healthy. 

 I would say to other women in a similar situation that the best thing you can do is leave. You will rebuild yourself again and nothing is worth that stress. I kept quiet for so long and I realise now that there were people who would have helped me." 

Each month our Referral Line takes 200 calls from victim-survivors of domestic abuse in urgent need of help. Our specialists then work with them to plan their escape to the safety of a refuge where they can begin to heal from their experiences 

One call costs £25. Donate now to help more victims reach safety and refuge. 

Phillipa’s story of supporting victims of domestic abuse: 

“On the Referral Line, you will witness people making a decision to change their lives. That is such a pivotal moment. Sometimes you do go through the whole process and a woman decides not to leave but that is her choice. Most of the time you are just supporting women to become safer and being part of that first step on their journey to recovery is a privilege. 

When we open the lines up, we put on our headsets, and receive calls primarily from women fleeing abusive situations or it might be a friend of someone who needs advice. We ask for details about the situation, the abuse, and check if a refuge is the right option. 

We celebrate the moment a woman gets into refuge and think ‘This is the beginning of your next chapter.