10 Year old Erica tells her story of escaping domestic abuse and finding refuge with Hestia

“I heard my mother screaming as he started to beat her,” said Erica. “Sam started crying and I held him and tried to keep him quiet and calm him down. The beating went on for about 15 or 20 minutes. Afterwards there was a horrible silence. Then I heard my mother and older sister Carol sobbing. The police came and took us to a hotel and from there we came to this [refuge].”

How Hestia Helps

Every year, 30,000 children across the UK are made homeless after fleeing domestic abuse with their mums.

Each year, Hestia provides a safe home for more than 600 of these children who would otherwise face homelessness or would be forced to remain in an abusive and dangerous situation.

We have learnt the value of offering a specialist service for children which prioritises their needs. Supported to express their feelings, children are more able to recover from their traumatic experiences. With the right help, they can do well at school and with carefully selected activities; they are able to make friends with other children within the refuge and begin to bond with their mum again.

Hestia & the Evening Standard

In a recent report, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has revealed that at least 670,000 children across England are vulnerable or at risk in some way.

In a week-long investigation, the Evening Stands examines their plight – starting with Erica who currently lives in one of our domestic abuse refuges. Read Erica’s story here

How you can help

This November CEO Patrick Ryan cycled over 300km through Vietnam to raise money for children living in our Domestic Abuse refuges.

With your help we can be there to support more survivors towards recovery. A donation of £10 could provide a welcome pack for a child with new pyjamas, toys and books. £50 could provide a child like Erica with an hour of specialist trauma counselling.

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