Karen Vaughan, a Sanctuary Housing resident from Torbay, says her home is her “place of safety” where she began to heal following years of suffering.
The now 44-year-old – who is the founder of Rising Moments, a group supporting women affected by abuse – first moved in to her home in 2012.
Over the previous 20 years she had herself survived some very difficult times, including being assaulted, suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and being hospitalised due to a serious illness.
Karen said: “I set up a children’s entertainment business, and bringing joy to the youngsters became my therapy.
“I’ve now lived in my home for eight years and it is definitely my safe place. The local community was wonderful and accepted me for who I was.”
With support from Sanctuary, Karen went on to set up Rising Moments, a not-for-profit project offering support and guidance to survivors of abuse.
Karen commented: “We provide food, other essentials and mental health support, which became even more vital during the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown was definitely a challenge for us but all the volunteers pulled together.
“I think I can safely say that without Sanctuary, and the value that having a permanent home has brought me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”