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Mumsnet Christmas Appeal 2016

This Christmas, we're shining a light on two brilliant causes close to Mumsnetters' hearts

As some of you will know, we're not going to run the Mumsnet Secret Santa this year. It had a brilliant run over more than ten years, with hundreds of MNers nominating recipients, and sending and receiving gifts. We know from reading the “thank you” threads over the years that it's brightened up many an MNer's festive season. But over the last couple of years it seems to have provoked quite a lot of angst among MNers, and if there's one thing none of us needs over Christmas, it's more stress.

To replace it, this year we're going to promote a couple of very worthy causes that are close to many of your hearts: Refuge and Women's Aid, both of which provide life-saving support for women in abusive relationships and their children. MNHQ will be matchfunding donations made to both up to a total (across both charities) of £10,000.

We know this is an expensive time of year, but anything at all that you can spare, however small, would make a big difference. This page includes more information from Refuge and Women's Aid about what how your money will be spent.

We'll keep you updated with running totals, and there will be some Guest Posts on our Bloggers Network to provide a bit more background: we'll put the links to those up here when they're published.

Women's Aid

Women's Aid

Women's Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. On average, two women a week are killed by their partner or ex-partner in England and Wales. One in seven children will have lived with domestic abuse at some point in their childhood. Domestic abuse services often find Christmas to be their busiest time of year, but the Women's Aid Annual Survey 2015 found that, on just one day, 92 women and 75 children were turned away from a refuge. For nearly half of the women, it was because there was not enough space for them.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women's Aid said: “At a time of year when people are celebrating their happy families, women who have fled domestic abuse feel even more isolated and alone. Donations are vital to keep our work going, so no one has to face domestic abuse alone. The money donated goes straight to where the need is greatest, to provide support to women and children living with domestic abuse. Please donate today, if you can. Thank you so much.”

Donate to Women's Aid

Refuge

Refuge

Two women every week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales. 750,000 children witness domestic violence each year. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. That means all of us are likely to know a woman who has endured abuse at the hands of their partner – whether that is a sister, mother, friend or colleague. Women need escape routes, and they need specialist support in order to begin to rebuild their lives, free from fear.

That was true in 1971, when Refuge opened the world’s first refuge for women, and it is still true today. Now, Refuge is the largest provider of specialist services in the country for women and children fleeing domestic violence and all forms of gender violence. Through our range of life-saving and life-changing services – which include refuges, community outreach programmes and specialist advocates who support survivors through court – Refuge supports more than 4,500 clients on any given day.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge said: “We are delighted that Mumsnet has chosen to support Refuge through its Christmas appeal this year. Domestic violence thrives in silence and in secrecy; by shining a light on Refuge’s work, Mumsnetters will help us reach more women and children in need of support, as well as raising much-needed funds to keep the doors of our frontline services open. Please do read eight-year-old Emily’s story on our JustGiving page to see why your support really matters – and thank you so much for helping us give women the protection they need and deserve.”

Donate to Refuge