Last week Bognor based charity My Sisters House celebrated their five year anniversary. The charity, set up by Julie Budge, helps women with domestic abuse, addiction, poverty, illness, and relationship breakdown. They offer a bespoke range of practical, emotional and therapeutic support and advice to women aimed at helping them get their lives to a better place.
Chichester MP, Gillian Keegan, visited the charity just ahead of their anniversary where she viewed their facilities and heard about the work they do to support women across Chichester and the Arun area. Gillian has been a strong voice on the issue of domestic abuse and has highlighted its prevalence in society during a Prime Ministers Questions session to the former PM, Theresa May.
The MP is also on the Bill Committee for the Government's landmark Domestic Abuse Bill that clearly defines domestic abuse, including non-physical abuse and financial manipulation. It introduces new protection orders so the police and courts have measures to intervene quickly, and it puts stronger systems in place for court hearings to keep victims and perpetrators apart. The legislation will also bring in a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner who can speak up for those affected, raise public awareness, and encourage preventative work.
Last month Gillian also supported a report by Agenda; who represent at-risk women and girls. The report looked further at domestic abuse and suggested changes that need to be undertaken to ensure support is comprehensive across the country.
Domestic abuse affects one in four women in the UK and is an issue our local MP is championing. Gillian described My Sister’s House Women's Centre as a lifeline and is working with them to see if there are any opportunities to expand their services with a hub either in Chichester City centre or to the north of the district. The charities drop-in service is open every weekday, and has helped 135 women; nearly 70 per cent of whom are victims of domestic abuse.
If you need support please get in touch with My Sisters House, on 01243 697800, or just drop-in for a cup of tea and biscuit, the team there are on hand to help.