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South Shields refuge marks 10th birthday with time capsule

South Tyneside Women's Aid celebrates it's 10th anniversary.'From left services manager Claire Bailey, Places for People director Kieran Keane and South Tyneside Womens Aid chairman Rod Macleod
South Tyneside Women's Aid celebrates it's 10th anniversary.'From left services manager Claire Bailey, Places for People director Kieran Keane and South Tyneside Womens Aid chairman Rod Macleod

A women’s refuge in South Tyneside has marked its 10th anniversary by burying a time capsule – in the hope that domestic abuse will be eradicated for future generations.

Places For People in partnership with South Tyneside Women’s Aid has helped 770 women and 669 children at its South Shields base, since it opened a decade ago.

Our hope is when our capsule is dug up future generations of women won;t know what domestic abuse is.

Kathryn McClafferty, manager of the domestic violence service

The service, which can support up to 12 women and their children at any one time, celebrated yesterday with a high tea.

Past and present service users, along with the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse and Mayoress Mary Porthouse, buried a time capsule at the site’s base.

Kathryn McClafferty, manager of the domestic violence service said: “Within the time capsule we included lots of information and statistics about domestic abuse.

“Our hope is that when it’s eventually dug up in many years to come, that generation of women won’t have to deal with domestic abuse, they won’t know what it is.

“So they will be able to read our capsule’s contents and gain an insight into what some women have to face.”

During the last financial year from April 2014 to March 2014, the refuge helped 78 women and 49 children.

The ages of users ranged from 16 to 92 and on average they stay between three months to a year – depending on their individual requirements.

Mrs McClafferty said: “We had to refer 146 women, because we didn’t have the ability to accommodate them.

“We also received 763 calls from ladies asking for advice on matters such as domestic abuse. Our service is very busy.

“Often we get ladies from further afield, as they don’t want their partners to know where they are, and we will arrange help for women who want to move out of the area in safety.

“There’s not a particular age range we help. Our ladies range from 16 to 92.”

Mrs McClafferty added: “Everyone had a lovely time at yesterday’s event and enjoyed lots of cake and tea.”