Supporting Women and Girls on International Women’s Day

6 min read

To mark International Women’s Day, The Elm Foundation is celebrating women who are survivors of domestic abuse and the women who support them to thrive and achieve after domestic abuse.  

Here are some of the amazing women and girls we have supported talking about breaking from abuse.

“I’m no longer on the road to self destruction, I’ve changed my perception of unhealthy relationships. I am a stronger person, a better person.”

“I’ve come out of my shell. I was stuck in a dark place now I can see the light and have self confidence. I know my self worth and feel empowered. I’m 10 times more positive, no longer on anti depressants and look positively towards the future.”

“Getting support has enabled me to tackle my debts and get them sorted. Getting support to leave has helped me improve a lot of things.”

“Without support, I would not have had the courage to leave, I’ve got my independence and freedom back”.

Support from The Elm Foundation really does make a difference,

Here’s some feedback from a young female survivor of domestic abuse in her household following support from one of our child and young people workers. “Because of you all the bad scary thoughts are now gone”.

“The fact that there is a charity out there that doesn’t judge and helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel is incredible. They helped me organize my life.”

Jennifer did not believe she was in an abusive relationship because her husband had never hit her or physically assaulted her, but she often felt manipulated and confused. Her husband always acted very differently around their friends. He was the life and soul of the party and enjoyed a drink; but when they were alone, he was very different. Cruel and dehumanizing, critical of what Jennifer did and chipping away at her self-esteem and confidence. He would give her the silent treatment if she didn’t do what he wanted her to.

Jennifer was never allowed friends of her own, he accused her of affairs if she tried to make friends by joining groups at the local church. He would often disappear for whole weekends at a time, leaving Jennifer home alone. She lost contact with friends and support networks to “keep the peace”. David spent increasingly outside of his means and ended up taking out debt in Jennifers name.

After Jennifer’s mental and physical health took a nosedive, she reached out to the Elm Foundation who validated what she had experienced. That validation was invaluable as up to this point, she had doubted that her experience was abusive because her husband had never hit her.

Jennifer received emotional and practical support from her outreach worker at The Elm Foundation. With this support, Jennifer was able to leave her abusive relationship. She now has her own property and is feeling more like her old self.  Jennifer is starting to join and engage in support groups locally. She has begun to rebuild her social network too, reconnecting friends and some family members. Being aware of the other support available within the community has been really important to Jennifer and although she continues to have health issues, she is starting to consider how she can access this community support to help her too.

When survivors of domestic abuse are supported and given the tools, many can rebuild their lives, not only survive but go on to thrive.

On International Women’s day, we at The Elm Foundation, feel privileged to be able to support these courageous women in achieving their potential after abuse. We also want to acknowledge the wonderful women within our own organisation, that often go above and beyond to support, advocate, and empower all the women who access us.

Find out more about the services we provide.