Deborah was scared. She knew she only had a short amount of time to get away. Her heart was pounding as she grabbed the last few essentials and frantically stuffed them into a carrier bag. Ten-year-old Peter helped his little brother Sam; aged five, get his rucksack on. Deborah fastened two-year–old Mia into her pushchair, picked up all she could carry, and opened the front door. She cautiously checked nobody was around before ushering the children outside, and with a very brief look back into the living room, quietly closed the door. They all hurried down the street. This was the last time she and the children saw their home and the rest of their belongings.
For many victims of domestic abuse, they have to leave quickly, quietly, and feeling scared they will be discovered and stopped.
Your support can help provide emergency care to keep a family safe today.
For Sam’s mum Deborah to escape with him and his siblings was both incredibly brave and incredibly frightening. Deborah fled because of violence and threats. The children had witnessed this behaviour for several years and needed emotional support.
Some victims of domestic abuse are not in control of their own money or mobile phone.
Our frontline colleagues at Spurgeons have seen many distraught children, because in the rush to leave they have forgotten their favourite cuddly toy. At times like these, it can be tempting for a parent to return to the familiar home, even though it would mean returning to an abusive partner. Support at this point is vital to keep them all safe. Deborah and her children were quickly provided with an emergency kit including a phone with SIM card, plus things like hygiene products, nappies and wipes, toiletries, cutlery, towels, children’s cups, travel first aid kit, travel laundry wash, a can opener, children’s stationery packs, and a cuddly toy.
The stress for a parent with children can be overwhelming, and it can be tempting to return.
A parent leaving home may have to cope with several children, caring for their physical, mental and emotional needs, as well as their own, in extremely stressful circumstances. With children missing their friends and school routine, the admin involved in setting up a new life, even the simple things like cooking a meal can become extremely hard. Fegans provide one to one parenting support to people like Deborah, often online, so that we can listen when they feel alone and help them, no matter where they are in the country.