Mel and her three daughters had nowhere else to go, but the moment her husband threatened to kill four-year-old Olivia, Mel knew she had no choice but to leave their home.
They desperately needed somewhere safe and secure to stay, but instead they were given a freezing room in an outbuilding far away from the main property. They were so isolated that no one would hear them if they shouted for help. There was only one way in and out, so there was no way for them to get out quickly if they needed to.
They hoped things would get better. They didn’t.
They were terrified about what would happen if her husband or his friends found them as they had done before. Families like Mel’s are most at risk immediately after they leave their abusers so Mel’s need for a safe home was incredibly urgent.
To make things even worse the outhouse was too small for Mel’s family, as well as being mouldy and full of bed-bugs. Olivia’s asthma got worse and she had no space to play. They didn’t have internet access and Mel’s older daughter couldn’t concentrate on her homework. Things were so bad she couldn’t finish her A-levels.
Families like Mel’s need our help to find homes which they can feel safe in
- Nearly two-thirds of all people living in temporary accommodation are women
- 8% of households found to be homeless or at risk of homelessness lost their last settled home due to domestic abuse. This means that thousands of women and their families are trying to recover from severe trauma in unsafe, inadequate accommodation
- The majority of these are single mothers trying to find a safe home for their families and this number has increased by 51% in the last five years
Without Shelter, I’d still be afraid and homeless.
Thankfully Mel got in touch with Shelter and our adviser, Jasbinder, was able to help her protect her children by finding them a better place to live.
Jasbinder told the council they urgently needed to move the family out of the unsafe accommodation. After that, Mel’s family were quickly moved somewhere safer where they felt less at risk of an attack and where Olivia’s asthma was under control.
She made sure that the family were protected from any contact with her ex-husband and his associates, and that Mel’s children were protected when they attended court in two separate cases against her ex-husband.
Jasbinder supported Mel by ensuring that she did not have to pay the debts which her ex-husband owed and as money was tight for Mel we gave her children toys and gifts for Christmas.
She helped Mel to apply for social housing and Mel soon found a new permanent home far away from her ex-husband. It’s affordable and has enough room for her children to play in and do their homework.
Today Mel and her family have a safe, permanent home. But other families are still desperate for our advice.
Now that they are in a safe home the family can rebuild their lives. Mel’s older daughter can retake her A-levels, Olivia’s asthma is under control and she has space to play.
Mel’s family are safe now, but thousands of others like her still need your help right now.
Together, we could help another family find a safe home today.
You are vital to the safety of a family like Mel’s. You could be the difference between awful housing and a safe home.
Your donation today could help provide the housing advice a family needs to find a permanent home.
Please give all you can today.