Help for abused women in Newark


Last week I visited a Women’s Refuge in Newark, at the invitation of the manager and Trustees.  Of course the women who would use such a refuge have been subjected to domestic abuse by husbands or partners, and many are in fear for their safety, so I have to be careful not to reveal the location of the premises I visited.  Security is one of their key concerns.

I met with the facility’s manager, Marlene, and the Chairman of the Trustees Andrew Carr (an engineer with robust views on the subject of wind energy — but that’s another issue).  And I heard the tragic stories of some of the women who arrive, distressed and traumatised, often with no more than the clothes they stand up in — and the children they’ve brought with them.  The refuge can house up to six families (mothers and children) at one time, and it can provide them with immediate necessities — a roof over their heads, a safe environment, food, a change of clothes.

Naturally women fleeing violence want to put a safe distance between themselves and their abusive partner, so any such refuge will frequently be dealing with women from far afield.  There is a national network of refuges that allows for reciprocal help, and victims can be found a place in another refuge if their first port of call is full.

I heard the stories of some of the women who have passed through the facility, and they are very tragic indeed.  People who live a normal life in a normal family would find it difficult to believe the behaviour of some of the partners from whom these women have escaped.  In my non-professional opinion, many of these abusive partners must have serious mental health problems, for no rational person could behave as they do — not that that is any excuse or justification for their behaviour.

In the Refuge, specialist domestic violence workers provide emotional and practical support to enable women to rebuild their lives.  They advise on housing, health, legal options, education and employment.

Some victims have skills and a CV, and just need the security and motivation to make a new start.  Others — some quite young — need further education, or help with their CV and interview skills.  The refuge attends to these needs.

Last year the Refuge provided shelter and support for 46 women and 65 children.  Since the refuge was opened in 1975 it has provided shelter and support for 3,670 women and 5,663 children. Hundreds more women and children have been supported through the Charity’s community based Women’s Outreach Service, a free confidential service providing support, advocacy and information for victims of domestic violence.

But now the charity faces a new problem.  Their previous funding stream from the local authority has been reorganised in a way which requires “bidding” and funding applications.  The details are complicated, but the bidding process is challenging for smaller charities, and the new system tends to favour larger groups.  Newark Women’s Aid was hoping that I might be able to help in obtaining funding from the EU.  I shall be happy to check out the possibility, but I suspect we might draw a blank.

They are doing splendid fund-raising work, but they have a big funding gap to fill if they are to continue this vital work.  So can I call on the generosity of readers of this blog — if you are minded to donate to charity, and if you want to identify a genuine local charity in the East Midlands that desperately needs your support, follow this link

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11 Responses to Help for abused women in Newark

  1. I think that this bidding process is challenging for a smaller organisation is symptomatic of a much wider malaise. Smaller organisation tend to be given the short straw by government organisation because for them it is much easier to deal with large organisations because there are fewer of them and then tend to do all the hard work for the organisation inviting bids.

    For another good example I recommend Broadband Delivery (UK), who managed to convert a competitive tendering process into a BT monopoly.

    The refuge deserves support, not the least from the Local Authority who should be helping smaller organisation, not making life more difficult for them.

  2. `David says:

    Yet many show concern for Brazilian tigers etc, rather than our own.
    Brazil being a” brick” is doing OK so let them protect the tigers, and then we can see to our own!

  3. `David says:

    If we had an effective government body with big teeth it could persuade a few quid from these awful partners,

  4. Jane Davies says:

    I knew once I had got to your third paragraph were this was heading…a lack of funding was going to be revealed. This is a classic example of why the billions siphoned off into overseas “aid” is met with anger by the taxpayers. Charity begins at home and the most vulnerable in the UK need a helping hand first. And speaking of the vulnerable, why is there nothing in UKIP’s manifesto about the frozen state pension scandal, does UKIP intend to end this blatant discrimination? Even the Greens have pledged to end this theft. UK state pensioners are suffering, even those who’s pension is not frozen.

  5. Ex-expat Colin says:

    I did hear the BBC World Service last night (Business Matters) interview Roger Helmer. Two brought in (indian female activist and an emotional male) to counter Roger. Female wants, for example, immigration into Norway in order to bolster falling population. The loony male seemed to think UK should run huge deficits as the last wars….normal/easy. Needs two to counter one, rarely do we hear supportive (sane) comment.

    Mr Farage was dead right about BBC selected lefty audiences on last nights debate. Why Dimbleby thinks that using an independent polling company to select an audience that is (must be) independent beggars belief:

    Mr Farage responded to Dimbleby: “The real audience is sitting at home.”

    The BBC with its in built serial mental deficiency gets paid for this via a tax. Along with the CPS would UKIP kindly root kill the BBC please.

    Seems we have females up in the high public places in UK, unfortunately from last nights debate…its all the wrong ones!

  6. Brin Jenkins says:

    Has the denigration of men and their position as bread winner any thing to do with the apparent rise in family abuse?

    I believe if paid work was available to all men who need to support themselves and their families matters would improve. Until we deal with the uncaring attitude of Government to white English people matters will continue to deteriorate.

    Where the hard cases exist another approach may be required, and yes I’m a so called racist who is not blinkered.

    • Jane Davies says:

      “Has the denigration of men and their position as bread winner any thing to do with the apparent rise in family abuse?” I wish it was that simple Brin, unfortunately many men have it wired into their DNA to be controlling and abusive, it crosses all classes, unemployed or not. I was married to a man whose insecurities meant he was aggressive and controlling and dished out mental abuse to me and our daughters. He had a good job and had never been unemployed, to outsiders we had a good standard of living. I became an Oscar winning actress in pretending all was well. I made sure second time around I picked a wonderful talented man (an artist, writer and illustrator) who is not only kind and loves animals (the ex didn’t like animals much, that’s a good indicator) he is also comfy in his own skin and has none of the hang ups associated with those insecure men who use their fists and mouth instead of their brain. I blamed a lot of my ex’s hang ups on his mother who doted on him, the youngest of three, and the Italian influence of his family roots who thought women should be barefoot and in the kitchen, at least that’s how it was in his family then, in the 1960’s. I’m not saying all Italian men are the same as now times have changed. I suspect your analogy, Brin ,is true in some cases though.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Jane I’m sorry you had difficulties, and I trust all will be good for your future.
        I love Italy, my Sister is married to a Sicilian. Yes there is some Machismo to be seen in Italy, but my brother in law is a great guy and good company. We live amongst the locals including his old schoolmates, and see the real village Italy. Viva the differences, I don’t wish to see us all mixed up I much prefer the separate cultures and customs.

  7. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Roger Helmer on BBC2 Daily Politics today (20/4) at 2pm:

    Davey boy is there too

    Here we go !!

  8. Glad that you are supporting this venture Roger. If only it wasn’t needed! I think violent tendencies have little or nothing to do with unemployment, but may be related to bad example, or the men experiencing bullying in their own childhood. Tension at work and financial stress don’t help. nor of course do drink and drugs.
    The money should come straight from the local county or city council. There should be no need to “bid” for charity funding.

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