Eva Women’s Aid
The Foundation awarded £120,000 to Eva Women’s Aid over six years to fund an additional support worker and contribute to core costs for a new older women’s centre. The charity, which has been in operation for 27 years has identified an increase in sexual violence and abuse cases among women over the age of 45, and the new centre will provide support for these women.
The organisation, based in Redcar near Middlesbrough, provides a range of services including safe houses, high street drop-in centres, counselling, and training programmes. The service has developed since its inception, extending its reach to support a greater number of women, and to cater more specifically to their needs.
The women’s centre at which the newly appointed staff member will work will help around 270 women to get out of abusive relationships over three years. It will provide them with safe accommodation, protection, and opportunities for a more independent future.
Wendy, aged 47, was referred to the charity by her local women’s refuge:
“I was in an abusive relationship for 15 years. I didn’t realise the extent of it because my partner became more controlling over many years. He slowly chipped away at my confidence. He controlled all my finances and wanted to know what I was doing at all times. He made me give him proof of where I went, even asking to see my bus receipts. I became completely isolated.
When I went to the women’s refuge in my home town I had nothing except the clothes I was wearing. My partner soon found me there so I was offered a place at Eva Women’s Aid refuge. They gave me a support worker who helped me find my accommodation and sort out my finances.
What I appreciate most about the organisation is that nobody there judges me for having been in an abusive relationship. I can always pick up the phone and rely on my support worker. If I return to my home town where my partner is living in our house I still have to keep looking over my shoulder but now at least I am able to do things. It’s nice to have my sister back in my life as my partner wouldn’t allow me to see her.”