“I’m currently fleeing domestic violence with my two children and I can’t afford to pay a deposit on a new house. The council won’t help. I have been left with all financial responsibility and enough wages to cover bills and provide for my kids but not enough to move from where the danger is.”
These are the words of a senior acute care nurse when she approached the RCN Foundation Benevolent Service for support earlier this year.
In the first six months of 2022, we received 131 hardship grant applications from individuals who described domestic abuse as an issue affecting their situation. In total, 14% of those who received a hardship grant from the RCN Foundation this year disclosed domestic abuse.
Each story is different, but the commonalities involve isolation, fear and incredible resilience.
We hear from families rehoused in one-bedroom temporary accommodation, in areas where they know nobody. There, after being forced to leave their homes as a result of violent abuse, they face financial problems particular to their situation.
When longer-term social housing is allocated, typically the flooring is removed before the tenancy starts. This means either £1,500 needs to be found for flooring, or the family lives with bare concrete.
We often hear that the concrete flooring makes the house cold, particularly in a home that also has no curtains. Bare concrete and old wooden boards also create trip hazards for toddlers and young children. Adding to the financial burden, social housing normally comes without a washing machine, cooker, and other furnishings.
If you are in a position to donate to the RCN Foundation, it will help us to offer support to nurses, midwives, and nursing support workers who are dealing with financially and emotionally exhausting circumstances. Make a donation here.
One domestic abuse survivor who received a grant from the RCN Foundation thanked the grants team for helping her ‘to come out of the dark’. Together, we can be there for those who are still in the dark or trying to find their way out.
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, or feel that someone you live with may become abusive, you can call a helpline to speak to someone:
Galop LGBT and hate crime helpline
We also invite you to access the free and practical financial support that's available:
Apply for a hardship grant from the RCN Foundation Benevolent Service
Call our partners, PayPlan, for free debt advice
Look through our guide to charities and other financial support.