Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, which has operated in Thanet for 30 years and has now expanded to North Kent and Medway, has launched a Christmas wishes appeal to help it continue to work with survivors into 2024.
The charity provides crisis intervention but also has outreach work, goes into schools and takes young people on activities when they may not have had those opportunities because of their home situation.
The refuge has 22 Thanet properties, providing 32 bed spaces for women, men and their families escaping domestic abuse.
At a time when many people are celebrating the festive period, for families experiencing domestic abuse in Kent and Medway, the abuse will often increase.
The added pressure of more time together, family demands and financial worries – especially with the cost-of-living crisis – can all make abusive behaviours worse. Gripped by isolation, and uncertainty at a time when ‘safe’ places close – such as schools, toddler groups and nurseries – each day becomes even more difficult and frightening.
Every year the demand on Oasis’s vital services increases – especially for children and young people. This is compounded by rising costs and so the charity is asking the community for support to continue its work offering hope and safety to survivors this Christmas and in 2024.
Oasis CEO Claire Williams [pictured] said: “Your support is vital to ensure that Oasis can continue its critical work in 2024. With 70% of individuals in our refuges being children, the need for dedicated, compassionate support is paramount.
“No one should have ‘living free from abuse’ on a wish list – it should be reality. A community of support is needed now more than ever.
“Any donation, large or small, will go a long way to make a life-changing difference for these families. Together, let’s make this Christmas a season of hope and empowerment for survivors of domestic abuse in Kent and Medway.”
Every contribution, no matter the size, helps to brings Oasis closer to its target of £5,000, which could pay for 100 children and young people to receive specialist counselling.
Daniel was 10 years old when he arrived at an Oasis refuge with his mother and siblings, having left an abusive stepfather. The refuge not only offered safety but also support that changed the course of Daniel’s life, steering him toward academic success and personal growth.
“My 10 months in the refuge were unforgettable. I owe all the people I came across during my time there for the person I am today. Jenny spent countless nights helping me prepare for the Kent Test and, once I got into grammar school, with my homework. I am eternally grateful.”
For more information, to donate, and to share your message of hope, visit www.oasisdaservice.org/christmas-wishes
In an emergency always call 999 (if you can’t speak, cough or tap the handset then press 55 on your phone – the police will know it’s an emergency) or 101 for non-emergencies
For non-emergency support and safety planning (if it’s safe to do so):
Email [email protected]