Mayor of Camden visits Camden refuge in support of her charity

The Mayor or Camden, Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust, heard first-hand the vital work her nominated charity, Solace Women’s Aid, provides for women and children experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence, when she visited a Camden refuge.

Over a delicious lunch, prepared by the women with help from the Mayor - the women, who had all experienced some form of domestic abuse opened up and shared their stories.

“One day I just decided that enough is enough and I ran away with my daughter and booked into an Airbnb. I looked online for help and called the Solace helpline number.

“I had to think about my daughter and put her safety first. If it was just me, I would have probably stayed for much longer and put up with the abuse, but I am so glad that I got out when I did. I still at times feel anxious, but now I feel so much happier and safe at this refuge.”

A survivor of domestic abuse

In the refuge, there are a range of projects that help the women start to recover, including weekly communal cooking classes, singing and therapy. For example, The Solace ARISE programme is a six-week course that focuses on teaching women about abuse, and helping further understand the trauma they’ve experienced, from psychological to financial abuse. It also helps them spot the early signs of an abusive relationship in the future. The course helps them build bonds with other women living in the refuge and understand the complexities of abuse, so they know they are not alone.

Mayor or Camden, Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust, said:

“I was truly honoured to be welcomed into what is now a safe place for these women. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone – regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation or culture. It isn’t just physical – it can include verbal, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, including controlling and manipulative behaviour.

“Escaping the effects of abuse and violence can be the hardest thing to do. I am so pleased that the women I spoke to are on the road to recovery, thanks to the support of my nominated charity, Solace Women’s Aid.”

Support provided by Solace for women and children in Camden

Last year, 139 women and children lived in Solace’s Camden refuges giving them somewhere safe to stay when they had nowhere else to turn. Women and children get the opportunity to build their new lives with support from Solace staff - everything from overcoming trauma to starting a new school. Across Camden, Solace has supported 377 women and children to rebuild their lives, with therapy, group work and other support that means they have a strong future.

For more information on Solace Women’s Aid or to donate money to help support their vital work to help survivors to achieve independent lives free from abuse, visit