Cumberland Supports South Lakeland Charity

A domestic abuse charity can provide additional one-to-one support for its clients thanks to a £5,000 grant from The Cumberland.

Springfield Domestic Abuse Support in South Lakeland provides specialist counselling as well as accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse.

The charity’s main aim is to offer support at a time of crisis to enable individuals to rebuild their lives.

The grant from Cumberland Building Society’s Community Fund will go towards paying the salary of a Domestic Abuse Support Worker to work 24 hours a week. providing one-to-one support, helping with benefit and legal aid applications, budgeting, attending medical appointments and assisting staff and volunteers in the running of a variety of group programmes.

Victoria Roberts, Springfield Strategic Service Manager, said: “Our Community Service and Refuge provision offers a safe space for victims of domestic abuse to share their experience without judgement and provides vital advice and support at a critical point in their lives when they need someone to listen and understand what they are going through.”

Clients of Springfield often have complex needs and have typically experienced several abusive relationships, physical, sexual or psychological abuse, and most lack effective family support, making it very difficult for them to break away from destructive cycles of behaviour.

A number of clients also experience some form of financial coercion, which can include partners using credit cards without permission, putting contractual obligations in their name, and gambling with family assets, leaving them with no money for basic essentials or access to their own bank accounts.

Even after they have left home, survivors often still struggle with financial control being exerted by the abuser.

In the Domestic Abuse Report 2021, published by Women’s Aid, found that a third (33%) of community-based service users surveyed had experienced financial abuse.

The most recent Economics of Abuse figures (pre-pandemic) showed that more than half of respondents who had left a relationship with an abuser said that they felt that the abuse had impacted their ability to work, and over two fifths of all respondents felt the abuse had negatively impacted their long-term employment prospects and earnings.

Almost a third said their access to money during a relationship was controlled by the perpetrator, while a quarter said that their partner did not let them have money for essentials.

Becky Towns, The Cumberland’s CSR & Comms Executive, said: “Domestic abuse is such a serious issue. We’re pleased to have helped be able to support the vital work of Victoria and the team, who everyday are working with those who have been affected by domestic abuse to help heal and rebuild their lives.”