Collaborative Women: Breaking the cycle of domestic violence

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Women fleeing domestic abuse need safe accommodation. With the help of a Charity Bank loan, Collaborative Women is giving survivors that safe space and so much more...

Social Problem

1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in 2020[1]. Survivors often struggle to find a safe place to escape to and women who aren’t fluent in English can face even greater challenges when it comes to accessing support.

Solution

Collaborative Women was founded in 2014 in response to the need for accommodation for single women fleeing gender-focused abuse and to fill a gap in existing housing provisions. They provide safe, move-on accommodation coupled with life training to help women become independent individuals.

Women requiring the service come from different backgrounds, some are refugees, many are the victims of forced marriage and others are experiencing parental abuse. The holistic package of support Collaborative Women provides helps to break the cycle of violence, empowering and equipping women with the skills and the confidence they need to avoid resorting to what they fled from or worse.

Loan

Collaborative Women recently bought its first property with the help of an £82,950 loan from Charity Bank. As well as becoming a safe haven for its residents, the three-bed apartment is helping Collaborative Women to reduce its costs – as the loan repayments are around half what the Community Interest Company (CIC) would otherwise be paying in rent. Plus, the property is an asset, and the loan is enabling Collaborative Women to build a stronger credit history, both of which should help with future funding applications. Collaborative Women is also planning to use the garden for a ‘grow your own food’ community project.

Impact

Many of the women that Collaborative Women help have been led to believe they have no real future outside of an abusive home and many are stuck in a cycle of violence, where abuse is the norm. With the CIC’s support, these women can aspire for a better life and build the skills and confidence they need for a brighter future.

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplep...

“Some of the women who come to us have been forced into marriage, brought to this country and then held captive and beaten by their husband and his family, for years. They have to literally escape from the house. And they’ve been isolated from the community and can’t speak English, so there’s a real barrier to seeking help."

“So thank you Charity Bank for helping us to change lives. This is not just a property or a loan, it’s a legacy. Now, Collaborative Women can really start to grow.”

Jan Tasker and Grace McCorkle, Co-directors of Collaborative Women

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £350m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.