So, you may remember a couple of months ago a small event called the Mascarathon – yes, the one where we thought it would be totally normal and acceptable to run from Edinburgh to London with an over-sized they’re real mascara run all in the name of charity.
Yes? well, we thought we’d give you an update on what’s happened since…
The point of the Mascarathon was to raise brand awareness and of course some serious cash for Refuge, the national domestic violence charity for women and children. We admire the work they do, the passion they do it with and their dedication. We’re still shocked at the unbelievable stats that we’re now so familiar with – 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence, 2 women die a week as a result of domestic violence.
We met up with Lisa King, the formidable Director of Communications at Refuge and Jessica Madeley, Fundraising Queen to find out how some of the £72,000 + that you helped raise could be used. Lisa and Jessica wanted to show us a relatively new project they are hoping to expand in the future. We visited a hospital where IDVA’s (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate’s) work in maternity wards with mid wives to spot the signs of DV in pregnancy. Many people are unaware that 30% of domestic violence starts or gets worse during pregnancy. In fact, DV is the leading reason for foetal deaths and the main reason that women are admitted to A&E’s. All major reasons why Refuge wants to have even more IDVAs in maternity wards around the country.
We met Julie*whose partner beat her so badly when she was 6 months pregnant that her son was born 9 weeks premature. Julie told us how her IDVA, Katie* has helped turn her life around since she met her when she was admitted to hospital following the attack. IDVAs like Katie act as the go-between between for services such as the Police, Social Services, the courts and the victim. Katie provides essential support on every level from practical support such as ensuring Julie’s property is safe and fitted with panic buttons to explaining the legal jargon many would find daunting as well as being at the end of the phone when Julie needs her. Julie told us that without Katie’s support she would not be the positive person she is today. The IDVA service is a relatively new one (working in 2 hospitals) but in the year they have been operational they’ve helped over 200 women. Just think what they could do with more funding….
*All names have been changed
We’ve got our thinking caps on now as to how we can continue to support Refuge so keep your eyes peeled for what will be happening next. Check out www.refuge.org.uk for ways that YOU can help TODAY, whether it’s organising a fundraising event, donating online or volunteering your time to help, you CAN help make a difference.
If you want to talk to someone about Domestic Violence the Freephone number that Refuge runs in partnership with Women’s Aid is open 24 hours 0808 2000 247 – or log on to www.refuge.org.uk