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Equality North East

Middlesbrough College Helps Those Fleeing Domestic Abuse

Women and children fleeing domestic abuse have received help from staff and students at Middlesbrough College.

A mountain of toiletries is making its way to the Harbour Middlesbrough Refuge, where the team provides a sanctuary for women needing a safe place to stay after escaping an abusive partner.

Middlesbrough College decided to provide practical support to the centre to mark International Women’s Day.

Lecturer Paula Bednarz-Withers and Cath Cooke, Head of Business Development Health and Care, sounded a rally cry at the College and staff and students responded.

A mountain of toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, gift sets and cosmetics poured in.

Lesley Gibson, Chief Executive Office at Harbour Middlesbrough Refuge, said:

“The donation from Middlesbrough College is extremely welcome. “Often when women flee an abusive partner, they – and their children - arrive at the centre with just the clothes they are wearing.

“We give every woman who arrives a welcome pack and we include everyday essential things that the rest of us take for granted like toiletries, underwear, a toothbrush.

“Donations like this let the women know they are not isolated, that somebody cares and that the community is willing to support them.”

The Harbour Middlesbrough Refuge provides 15 accommodation units for women and children, ranging in size from one-bedroom to three-bedroomed flats.

The centre also has an emergency unit which has proved a lifeline on many occasions for women arriving in the middle of the night.

Staff also provide advice and support to men who are suffering at the hands of a violent partner, provide outreach support to women who remain in abusive relationships and work with perpetrator groups.

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April 17, 2013

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