Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


The charity currently provides a 'Safe House' for women and their children fleeing domestic violence which has been extremely successful to many victims. Swale has the 3rd highest level of deprivation of all the 12 districts in Kent, with a population in the excess of 131,000 and increasing.

We have provided accommodation for domestic abuse sufferers since 2006 in
partnership with the local authority and partnership agencies. The property provides
everything required for a family. Refuges do not always accept boys over the age of 14. We accommodate all children and mothers in the property as this then enables the abused victim to leave the perpetrator without worrying about the children being separated. At present we have over 17 women with their children in properties away from the refuge which we support in an emotional capacity and in a variety of different ways. This decreases resources needed by local Domestic Abuse Charities and the local authority by not having to place them on a housing register, use Bed & Breakfast or refuges. We have a passion for helping domestic violence victims, we as a team are able to assist with a moving on project by working towards permanent housing, once the clients have moved on we still continue with the support. We are fully trained and have a wealth of experience with domestic abuse.

This project is not just about housing and support for women and children whilst
escaping abuse, but a long term goal to see it through to the end providing a safer
environment for children and mums with steps towards a more positive future and
making a difference. Staff and volunteers have completed extensive training in Domestic
Violence, Stalking, Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriages, Human Trafficking and
Child Protection.

The charity is now opening a weekly 'One Stop Shop' called MARDA Multi Agency Response to Domestic Abuse at two locations within the Swale area, to provide a variety of support to victims experiencing domestic abuse. The support will include basic legal advice and referrals to legal services for orders, mental health support, counselling, access to support groups and programmes to assist victims in their journey to a life free from abuse. With our very knowledgeable board of Trustees all who are volunteers and have a wealth of experience in domestic abuse we aim to provide a service which will also help with the increasing demand of referrals within the Swale area for victims to gain the support that is needed. We will also be able to recognise any victims that are in need of urgent assistance to flee from the abuse and will be able to refer them to utilise our 'Safe House'.

The vast majority of the victims of domestic abuse are women and children, women are considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of violence and sexual abuse, regardless of ethnicity, religion, class, age, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. Domestic abuse can also occur in all types of relationships. It is now well accepted that abuse (both in childhood and adult life) is often the main factor in the development of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders, leading to possible self-harming, suicide, disorders and substance misuse.

One in four women in the UK have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16 and are often made to feel ashamed or responsible for what is happening, even a small amount of advice and help could lead to potentially life changing situations in victims daily lives. As we aim to work alongside other partnership agencies within the area, we feel we will be able to offer extensive support to our victims giving them the confidence they need to eventually move towards a more positive future.

We want to offer a community focused service so it can be accessed evenings and weekends. Large minorities miss out on vital help due to the current support offered in the area being available only once a week for 2 hours.

New Leaf Support

Moment of Pride

Our refuge accommodation is the first of its kind in the UK which has been extremely successful, its run by volunteers, funded mainly by donations/fundraising events.
Marda will provide first class professional assistance to victims of Domestic Abuse which the charity is very passionate about.

Location: Kent, United Kingdom