Why safe spaces matter – Building futures for those fleeing domestic abuse

Hello everyone,

I’m Suneil, the Property Development Manager here at The Haven Wolverhampton, and I am thrilled to share some incredible news with you. We’ve had the green light from the City of Wolverhampton Council to get started on a £1 million construction project that will not only bring safe accommodation to those fleeing domestic abuse and homelessness in our city but will also provide access to vital care and wrap-around support, to help survivors look towards a happier future.

The Haven Wolverhampton has been dedicated to supporting women and children who have been subjected to abuse and homelessness for half a century, with 2023 seeing us mark our 50th Anniversary. This project represents a significant step forward in continuing to fulfil our mission and commitment to the wellbeing of our community. Read more below to find out how you can get involved by helping us lay a foundation of hope. 

In a world where domestic abuse continues to cast a shadow, the importance of safe spaces cannot be overstated. In Wolverhampton and beyond, domestic abuse affects thousands of lives, leaving behind a trail of pain and suffering. The statistics are alarming: it is estimated that more than 14,000 Wolverhampton residents were subjected to domestic abuse in the year ending March 2020*, and in England and Wales, 1.7 million women aged 16-74 faced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022.** These numbers are not just statistics; they represent the lives of countless individuals trapped in a cycle of abuse.

Domestic abuse wears many faces, from physical and emotional abuse to psychological and financial manipulation. It knows no boundaries, affecting people of all backgrounds, ages, and walks of life. Victims often find themselves living in perpetual fear, their lives controlled by their abusers. In such dire circumstances, having a listening ear to confide in and a safe space to escape to becomes a lifeline.

Safe spaces provide sanctuary, security, and the opportunity to heal. They offer a chance for survivors, predominantly women and children, to break free from the clutches of abuse and rebuild their lives. This is at the heart of what we do here at The Haven Wolverhampton. Our mission is clear: to provide practical and emotional support services to women and children in their most vulnerable moments. In order to continue delivering on this mission, we are embarking on a remarkable £1 million construction project that is about much more than just building apartments; it’s about building hope and brightening futures.

The development consists of eight purpose-built apartments, specially designed to provide a safe haven for single women and families fleeing abusive situations. These apartments offer more than just shelter; they offer a fresh start, security, and the opportunity to rebuild lives shattered by domestic abuse.

This has been a long journey. We first acquired the land in 2005, but it had a “no development” restriction, preventing progress until recently. The City of Wolverhampton Council’s approval to use this land reflects its dedication to the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and the Safe Accommodation Strategy. We are thankful for the council’s support with this because what sets this project apart is that it was shaped by insights from consultations with survivors themselves.

The women we spoke to expressed a desire for self-contained living spaces with shared communal areas. We listened and we are determined to provide what they need. Additionally, the new apartments will be fully accessible, ensuring that individuals with mobility issues have a safe and welcoming space to call home.

Buy a Brick, build a future

The development has begun, thanks to recent approvals for a change of land use. During October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Haven Wolverhampton is asking for your support through our “Buy a Brick” campaign. For just £30, you can secure a virtual brick on our online brick wall. Each brick purchased goes towards the new build project, helping create a brighter future for survivors.

Your involvement in this campaign is not only a chance to be a part of our history but also a chance to transform lives. The apartments these bricks will help build will provide solace and, more importantly, a home for those who need it most. To find out more or buy your brick click here. Thank you for joining The Haven Wolverhampton on this journey towards a safer and brighter future for all. Together, we can bring hope and build a happier future for those who need it most.

If you or someone you know is being subjected to domestic abuse, reach out to The Haven Wolverhampton’s free 24/7 helpline at 08000 194 400 or connect through live chat via www.havenrefuge.org.uk (Mon-Fri 9-5pm) or via their WhatsApp Helpline (Mon-Fri 9-5pm) via 07719 558 183. We are here to listen, support, and empower survivors to find safety and healing.

*People affected aged 16-74 – City of Wolverhampton Council – Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Duty 

**Office for National Statistics, 2022. 

Related Posts