Impact on Women and Children:
Habitat partners with housing providers who deliver a welcoming place for women and children who have experienced and are escaping domestic violence. Crisis accommodations are a safe and welcoming place when a woman decides to leave her partner. With COVID 19 lockdowns escalating the demand for crisis accommodation placements, these safe places mean the world of difference.
Thanks to Habitat and Barclays, volunteers have been able to transform the accommodation to make it a welcoming and respectful place for newcomers. Volunteers have been able to paint the premise and refresh spaces. Staff have mentioned that women have walked in and burst into tears, they start feeling validated and seen for the first time in a while. The calming neutral tones of the walls makes a real difference to all the suffering they have experienced. The staff have also expressed a sense of rewed zest and energy for their work.
“The apartments were so clean and beautiful.” Comment made by a client. Below are photos of the revamped premises by Habitat volunteers.
Wendy* and her five children were referred to a crisis accommodation, after Wendy phoned seeking help to relocate away from her abusive husband. Wendy reported years of living in an abusive relationship where she experienced bullying and controlling behaviour. Her ex-husband used the technique of putdowns to make Wendy feel worthless and maintain control over her and was verbally abusive towards her and the children calling them repulsive names. Wendy said she ‘worked hard to keep the peace’ and was treading on eggshells throughout her relationship for fear of her children being harmed. She had no say in how the house was kept for herself or her children.
She was totally isolated because she felt ashamed to have friends and no one visited her home because the perpetrator kept animals in the house against her will and the family were forced to live in squalor. Since engaging with the service program, the trajectory of Wendy’s life changed. The service provider was able to assist Wendy and advocate strongly with the local real estate to secure her a property for the family which they have now moved into and are becoming settled.
Being engaged with the service provider has been a positive experience for this family as they were able to assist them to relocate to a new area and they are now safe and happy and looking forward to a new chapter in their lives.