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  • Date: 22/11/2023

Domestic abuse survivor shares emotional story for Glow's Christmas appeal

This Giving Tuesday, our domestic abuse champion, Glow, has launched its Christmas fundraising appeal to support individuals and families impacted by domestic abuse.

Last year Glow supported over 1,700 people across their services, including those living in safe accommodation across Staffordshire.

The provider has three refuges and community-based safe accommodation across the county that provides shelter and support for families and single people escaping violence and abuse. These homes help individual survivors, and their families, start a new chapter and rebuild their lives after experiencing domestic abuse.

Support from their annual appeal will go towards making Christmas extra special for those living in refuge and community-based accommodation.

Glow customer Kayla* experienced domestic abuse from her ex-partner, the father of her son. Before entering into the relationship, she had a successful career as a nurse and owned her own home. She's shared her powerful story... 

“That relationship completely changed my life. Within six months of meeting him, I fell pregnant. That’s when the domestic violence started – physically, mentally and emotionally.

“This took me down the path of addiction, for me it was almost a way to cope. This all led to me being impacted by modern slavery too. Drug dealers took over my home - it was a cuckoo situation.

“If it wasn’t for the support of recovery services and now Glow, I wouldn’t be sat here today. I’d have taken my own life, either intentionally or indirectly through using drugs.”

After facing abuse, addiction and modern slavery, this Christmas is the first that Kayla will be spending with her son in a long time.  

She added: “This is my first Christmas being with my son and being a mum again. It’s daunting, but I know that if I am struggling I can turn to Glow for support. I have regular contact with my support worker which is a big safety net for me.

“I’m looking forward to Christmas and getting involved in the celebrations at refuge. These things are only possible because of the kindness of the people who donate to Glow. Their support means that we can have parties and all of the children can have presents to unwrap.

“It’s brilliant to know that there is somewhere for us to go over the festive season, to have as much of a ‘normal Christmas’ as normal can be in our circumstances. It’s important to make things as special as we possibly can.”

Head of Domestic Violence and Abuse Services, Lucy Willis, said: “For the individuals and families that we support, their first Christmas with us in safe accommodation will likely be the first time, in a long time, that they have felt truly safe during the festive period.

“Despite this, it’s also incredibly daunting too. Customers will often come to us with little to no money or personal items, having uprooted their whole lives to flee to safety. For their children, it can mean saying goodbye to friends, school and routine, to start completely fresh somewhere new.

“The support of our local communities across Staffordshire helps us make this big transition as smooth as possible. Generosity, no matter what time of year, means that we can provide families with essential items to help rebuild their lives and work towards a new chapter.

“Over the festive period, support enables us to hold Christmas parties, have visits from Santa and make sure that every child has a present to unwrap on Christmas day.

“We’ll always deliver amazing support, but support from our local communities means that we can provide lots of special memories, despite everything customers have been through.”

Click here to support Glow's Christmas fundraising campaign.

*names changed to protect identities