For Sam’s mum Deborah to escape with him and his siblings was both incredibly brave and incredibly frightening. Deborah fled because of violence and threats. The children had witnessed this behaviour for several years and needed emotional support.

The stress for a parent with children can be overwhelming, and it can be tempting to return.

Spurgeons frontline workers like Anita know how important it is for a family to have support quickly.

A parent leaving home may have to cope with several children, caring for their physical, mental and emotional needs, as well as their own, in extremely stressful circumstances. Staff have seen many distraught children because in the rush to leave they have forgotten their favourite cuddly toy. At times like these, it can be tempting for a parent to return to the familiar home, even though it would mean returning to an abusive partner. Support at this point is vital to keep them all safe.

Some victims of domestic abuse are not in control of their own money or mobile phone.

Deborah and her children were quickly provided with an emergency kit including a phone with SIM card, plus things like hygiene products, nappies and wipes, toiletries, cutlery, towels, children’s cups, travel first aid kit, travel laundry wash, can opener, children’s stationery packs, and a cuddly toy. Deborah shared how valuable this was for her and the children,

“We were provided with toiletries and items I would have never thought about packing that helped us maintain our dignity. Without this I feel I would have returned to the life I had always known.”