Anna’s story: told by Nicky, one of our Women’s early intervention workers

Domestic abuse is the leading cause of homelessness for women and in the past few years, homelessness due to domestic abuse has increased by around 30%. Julian House operates more than 40 different projects that support adults and young people, including those escaping domestic abuse. We spoke to Nicky –  a Rapid Women’s Early Intervention worker in our Basingstoke Team – to share the story of one of her client’s: Anna.

Unfortunately, Anna is not alone with her story. Many families suffer from domestic abuse and it can show itself in a variety of forms and can include, but not be limited to:

  • Taking control over aspects of someone’s everyday life, which can include where they go and what they wear.
  • Sexual abuse and rape (including within a relationship)
  • Physical violence
  • Withholding money or preventing someone from earning money
  • Invading privacy e.g: reading emails, text messages or letters
  • Threatening to harm them, a partner, another family member or pet.

“She’d been taking drugs since the age of 10 as a coping mechanism for the domestic abuse that was going on in her household that was directed at both her mother and her siblings.”

It’s hard to imagine how difficult Anna’s homelife must have been and so naturally, many like her turn to taking substances in order to escape the hardships they face on a daily basis. Drug addiction is not a surprising effect of domestic abuse and getting support with these addictions is another way Julian House can help people like Anna into recovery.

“She came along to the Basingstoke bike workshop where she refurbished a bike she now still rides.”  

For Anna, becoming more independent through the use of transportation was a huge part of getting her back on her feet. Like Anna, everyone should have access to this and the humble bicycle can take people on this journey. Our Bike Workshops (Bath & Trowbridge) helps with just that, giving them the forward momentum they need to keep their lives upright.

Shockingly, among homeless women in the UK, the average lifespan is just 43 years old. This is why it’s so important that we do all we can to avoid this from happening. Our team in Basingstoke are committed to ensuring anyone who has been forced to sleep rough, or is leading a street based lifestyle, understands the support options available to them.

“We’re seeing some really good progress with her.” 

With your generous help, we can can support others like Anna.


If you or someone you know is in need of help or advice, please email: renew@julianhouse.org.uk or contact Southside: 01225 331 243