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News: Women’s refuge plea for kids’ musical instruments

A REFUGE for women who have escaped domestic violence is appealing for donations to create a children’s music room.

Ashram Housing Association-run centre, the location of which cannot be revealed, can accommodate up to 40 youngsters – many of whom have been forced to leave their schools and toys in a hurry.

Refuge manager Sahdaish Pall said: “Children find it very difficult to talk about the abuse they’ve seen but often they are very traumatised by what has happened. We hope the music room will give them an outlet to express their feelings.”

Mum-of-four Mary*, aged 30, from South Yorkshire, was brought to the refuge on the advice of police after her violent ex-husband was reported missing.

During their relationship, the paranoid heroin addict regularly beat Mary, leaving her with scars all over her body. When he started on their eldest son she knew she had to leave but even after they split, he continued to torment her, threatening to burn the family house down.

“After he was reported missing, I spotted him outside my house,” she said. “My little girl saw him and just started shaking. I knew then I had to get them away.”

Although happy to be in a safe environment, Mary said her children missed their toys and would find comfort in music.

“My daughter is really musical – she plays three instruments – so she will especially love it,” she said. “But I think it will help them all gain confidence and talk about what happened.”

Mum-of-three Naz , aged 30, from the Black Country, has been at the refuge for 10 weeks. She was forced to flee after her violent husband smashed her head on the floor and broke her nose.

“My parents-in-law took his side and threatened to take my children off me,” she said. “I couldn’t let that happen. The children were scared of him.

“They have settled into the refuge but are bored because they’ve beentaken out of school and there’s not much to do. They would love a music room.”

Vicky Farncombe

To donate, email or call 0121 764 3817.

Ashram is a not-for-profit charitable organisation which relies on rent and government grants.

This article is reproduced courtesy of the Birmingham Mail.

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