St Mary’s Charity of the Month: May 2019

Family Help (Darlington Women's Refuge)

  • 28 April 2019
  • Number of views: 216
St Mary’s Charity of the Month: May 2019

If you would like to donate to this excellent cause you can do so at any of our services on the first and second Sundays of May.  There will be different charities for other months.  

Family Help, the Darlington's Women's Refuge, is a charitable organisation set up in 1976. It is one of 300 places of safety in the country and in its eight family units provides safe, temporary accommodation and support for survivors of domestic abuse. Women and children from all areas are accepted. Nationally 1:4 women and 1:6 men experience some form of domestic abuse.  

The two  full-time and six part time staff provide care and support for women and girls of all ages and for boys until the age of 16 years. The majority of women seeking help are aged 25-40 years but all ages  receive shelter. Occasionally, babies have been born in the refuge. The average length of stay is six months after which women living locally can, if they wish, be visited weekly for a further six weeks.
The Family Help confidential helpline is open 24 hours every day to anyone, women and men, who are affected directly or indirectly by domestic abuse: Tel. 01325364486..   


In its 42 years Family Help, with its aim of bringing refuge from behind closed doors, has provided refuge accommodation and specialist, intensive support for survivors of domestic abuse. It continues to assist women to overcome the trauma they have experienced, empowers them to make decisions about what they want to do and supports them to achieve the outcomes they desire by setting their own goals and expectations. 


From April 2017-March 2018 the eight family units gave shelter to 68 women and 100 children and its helpline received 394 phone calls (386 from women, 8 from men).  From April 2018-March 2019, 55 women and 59 children were given shelter and the helpline received 350 calls in which 306 children were involved (341 calls from women and 9 from men). In the past year people from eight different ethnic groups were supported.                     
Domestic abuse is often a hidden crime that is not reported to the police, which is why the estimated number of victims is much higher than the number of incidents and crimes recorded by the police. Of the cases that do come to the attention of the police many are still recorded as incidents and dealt with as required but, because they fall short of being notifiable offences and are not recorded as crimes.                                                                         

Originally the Family Help Refuge occupied a very small semi-derelict house in Darlington before moving to an ex-army hut. In 2003 it moved to a new, purpose built building owned by the Home Group at a annual rent of £230,000.

The Family Help Charity is one of St Mary's local charities


For further information including donations see: