Support local domestic abuse charities and refuges

Find out how you can help and support the domestic abuse charities and refuges in your area.

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How to support local domestic abuse charities and refuges in your area.

In addition to raising awareness and keeping in regular contact with vulnerable members of your parish, you can also practically support local organisations and refuges by collecting and delivering donations for women, men and children living in refuges and other safe locations.

There are six steps to setting up a local parish domestic abuse support project.

Put together a small team of people (for example, parish SVP members – it could just be one person) to act as the first go-to person(s) for domestic abuse-related matters
Make contact with local domestic abuse services and organisations.
Make a clear list of items required for donation (as directed by local organisation).
Give clear instructions about how parishioners can donate.
Deliver donations.
Tell parishioners what they can do to help

A note on safety and confidentiality

Given the vulnerability of the women and the secrecy of the location involved in work to combat the scourge of domestic abuse, the safe recruiting of volunteers and confidentiality is a crucial necessity.

For more information on DBS checking, please visit

Finding a team leader

It is important that this project is led by someone or a small team of people who can commit time and effort to make it successful.

A good team leader will need to:

Be organised
Have access to a computer and mobile phone
Be able to drive
Be happy for parish members to contact them directly should they have questions

It may be that there is someone who already has knowledge of local domestic abuse services, for example through being in the local SVP, which would also be useful. However, existing local knowledge is not essential as there is information below about how to find your local services.

Partnering with local domestic abuse services

Tackling domestic abuse needs to involve close partnership with your local domestic abuse service which will be able to provide guidance and information on what the specific local needs are and how you can contribute.

Finding a local domestic abuse charity or organisation:

Key questions to ask local organisations:

  • What are the needs in our local area?
  • What specific items can we donate? (e.g. nappies, toys, female sanitary products)
  • How many of each item can we donate?
  • How can we safely deliver items for donation?

What can we donate?

When you have spoken to the local domestic abuse service, make a list of the items they would like to be donated. Please only list items which the service has specifically requested.

How can we donate?

You will need to nominate one person in your team to be the drop-off point for parishioners who wish to donate and who will also then deliver the donations to the local service.

A suggested procedure for doing this could be:

  • Notify parishioners of the drop-off address (e.g. via online parish newsletter)
  • Ask parishioners to leave donations only in the specified place (e.g. porch, driveway)
  • Ask parishioners to notify the drop-off person via phone/text/email when they have left a donation to ensure it is safely received

How can we deliver donations?

When the drop-off person has collected the donations, they will need to deliver them in a safe way to the local domestic abuse service you are supporting. Your local domestic abuse service will tell you exactly how and how often they would like this to happen, and so please follow their instructions closely.

How can we make parishioners more aware of domestic abuse issues and how they can help?

Here are a few suggestions how you and your parishioners can help to tackle domestic abuse in a safe and positive way:

  • Ask the Parish Priest to make an announcement and give information about the help offered in your church or the resources available online at the beginning or end of Mass.
  • Ask the Parish Priest to publish information on domestic abuse and links to helplines in the parish newsletter.
  • Ask the Parish Priest to publish information on domestic abuse support on the parish website.
  • Publish information on domestic abuse support on the parish social media.
  • Use existing parish networks, for example choir or prayer group mailing lists or social media groups to circulate information about domestic abuse and where to seek help.
  • Pick up the phone or write a text or email to fellow parishioners and ask them to spread the word to others.