EVA Women’s Aid: rebuilding lives after domestic and sexual abuse

EVA Women’s Aid helps women to rebuild their lives after domestic or sexual abuse. The charity gives women a safe place to call home, provides counselling and guidance, and makes sure that survivors’ voices are heard.

Social Problem

More than one million women will experience domestic abuse in the UK this year. It can be extremely difficult for survivors to escape an abusive situation and find new, safe accommodation. Even when they do escape, the long-term effects of abuse can be devastating, including complex mental health issues, ranging from severe anxiety to PTSD.

Eva womens aid tile 2019

EVA Women’s Aid new safe accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse.

Solution

EVA Women’s Aid has been supporting women and children affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence since 1987. The charity offers complete wraparound services, including safe accommodation, counselling, advice and advocacy. Over the last four years, EVA has seen a significant increase in the number of women with mental health issues needing support.

Loan

The charity has four safe houses, two of which were bought with the help of Charity Bank loans totalling £85,000. The first safe house specialises in supporting women over 45. It opened in 2015, was full within a week and has remained at almost 100% capacity ever since. The other house is for women with complex mental health needs and opened in June 2019. While the primary focus is offering abuse survivors a home, both properties have also become valuable assets – crucial to EVA’s long-term future. The newest safe house has trebled in value since its refurbishment.

Social Impact

EVA Women’s Aid is giving women the chance to regain control over their lives. Its needs-led approach means each woman can have the time and support she needs to recover, before she takes the next step forward to independence. Abuse survivors will never forget the trauma they’ve experienced, but with the charity’s help, they can learn to trust again and move on with their lives.

“The number of women turning to us for support has quadrupled in the last six years. Around 70% of these women have mental health issues, and so many just fall through the gaps left by other service providers. We knew we needed to offer a specialist safe house and that we wanted to work with a finance provider who ‘gets us’ and sees the social value in what we’re trying to do, rather than just the monetary value. Charity Bank gives us that.”

Richinda Taylor, Chief Executive, EVA Women’s Aid

“I could not have got through all this without EVA. The staff have been fantastic and there is always someone there to offer help and support.”

Sandra, an EVA Women’s Aid service user