Afsha Hussain: Why I became a trustee of a domestic abuse charity

Our latest writer for Trustees Week gives her personal views on why she became a trustee and the charity she chose

Afsha Hussain
Afsha Hussain

I have always wanted to give back to my local community by being part of a cause that I care about and where I can make a long-term difference. I was alarmed to find out that domestic abuse is prevalent locally and nationally – two women are murdered every week and 30 men a year, but also at least one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse at some time in their adult life. About one in five children has been exposed to domestic abuse.*

I could not find a better place than yourSanctuary, which is a local charity bringing about support and help to victims of domestic abuse in Surrey. The charity has been run for the past 40 years by a team of passionate and dedicated employees and volunteers, who work hard to ensure lives are saved by bringing refuge to women, children and men. The yourSanctuary vision is "a world free from domestic abuse", and to this end it provides a specialist helpline, a community-based outreach service, a refuge service and children's services.

Domestic abuse is everyone’s business. The Home Office estimates that it costs the public £23bn a year, which includes the cost to the criminal justice system, to the health service, to social care and to housing. This might even be an underestimate, given the many other costs that cannot be measured – for example, domestic abuse is the most prevalent cause of depression and mental health difficulties. Those experiencing domestic abuse are as much as 15 times more likely to misuse alcohol and four times more likely to misuse drugs than women in general.

Survivors often flee domestic abuse with nothing but the clothes on their back. To ensure their safety, a survivor often has to leave the area they live in and, as a result, lose their job and home, leaving them in urgent need of welfare support.

I look forward to making an impact in my local community by using my 13 years of professional experience with small and large organisations to help victims to flee their perpetrators safely and rebuild their lives in a safe and caring environment with their children.

For more information visit yourSanctuary

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