Prime Minister’s support makes world of difference, says domestic abuse survivor

A domestic abuse survivor told Prime Minister Theresa May her support “makes a world of difference” as she visited a charity helping women and children.

The PM visited Advance, a charity which supports women and children who have survived abuse across the capital, at its headquarters in west London on Monday morning.

It coincides with Mrs May’s announcement of plans to end the postcode lottery for domestic abuse survivors and ensure councils have a legal obligation to provide them with secure homes.

The new policy, backed by funding, aims to end the variation across the country and bolster protection in the Domestic Abuse Bill being considered by MPs.

In a private meeting with Mrs May, Christina, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said she was “extremely grateful” for the PM’s support.

Theresa May
Theresa May

She said: “It was explained to me since you’ve come in, that certain bills have been changed down to yourself so thank you, it makes a world of difference, it really does.”

Mrs May replied that the Bill was “something I’ve been working on for some time”, adding: “I think this is something in Parliament generally people recognise we need to do more on, so I’m pleased to be able to put something through that hopefully will be of real benefit to people.”

Christina, in her 50s, said she only realised how many people are affected by abuse when she was given help.

She was subject to physical and mental abuse by her husband, who was also abusive towards their two children.

She said: “It’s more of an eye opener for me how many people are going through it, since I’ve got out of it.

“When I was in the situation I was very blinded, but when you’re out you’re just amazed by exactly what’s going on, so I appreciate your input, it’s amazing, thank you.”

Theresa May, left, talks with Advance CEO Niki Scordi
Theresa May, left, talks with Advance CEO Niki Scordi

The Prime Minister then heard from other workers at the charity, who told her “education’s the key at the moment”.

Mrs May said: “I remember talking to a survivor in the past who said that the police from the specialist unit were excellent, but the trouble is if there’s a moment of crisis it’s whoever happens to be there..”

“Absolutely,” one of the case workers there agreed.