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Empowering safety

Flexible Funding for Domestic Abuse Victims and Survivors

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What is ESSF?

ESSF is a web portal where you can apply for funds to cover costs related to domestic abuse. We are here to support domestic abuse survivors in their journey to safety and healing.

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A partnership of domestic abuse services providing a response in Essex

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Essex Domestic Abuse Helpline:

0330 333 7 444

Helpline available from 8am to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 1pm weekends.

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Eligibility for the Essex Safe Start Fund:

Applicant is a resident of Essex
Applicant is aged 16 or over
Applicant is experiencing or has experienced domestic abuse (within 12 months)
Applicants are receiving support from a local commissioned domestic support provider

These are basic criteria but we will consider all applications. If you have any questions regarding eligibility please contact us to discuss.

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Other paths to funding

If the eligibility criteria is not met we encourage you to seek help from one of these organisations…

Trussell Trust

A nationwide network of food banks providing emergency food and support to people facing hardship.

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Buttle UK

A charity dedicated to helping children and young people in the UK who have experienced crisis, living in financial hardship and dealing with multiple challenging social issues.

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Royal British Legion

Support for serving and ex-serving personnel, as well as the whole of the Armed Forces community, including dependants and carers.

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WaveLength gives media technology to lonely people living in poverty.

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Avanti West Coast

A joint venture between Avanti West Coast and Women's Aid; can be used to cover the cost of train tickets for women, men and children escaping domestic abuse travelling to refuge accommodation.

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Children In Need

The Emergency Essentials programme supports individual children and young people living with severe poverty, facing additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family.

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Women's Aid

Survivors of domestic abuse who do not have the financial means to leave their abusers, or to remain safely in their home, will be able to apply for a one-off payment of up to £500 for essential items such as groceries, nappies or clothing to help them and their children flee to safety.  Survivors can also apply for a further one-off payment of up to £2,500 to help secure a sustainable independent future, such as putting down a deposit for rental accommodation. 

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Some frequently asked questions

How long does it take to receive a decision regarding an application to the ESSF?

We aim to make decisions on applications within 2 working days.

If I am uncertain whether I would be eligible for the fund, can I still make an application?

Yes, please still make an application. If the ESSF is not the right option for you, we may be able to signpost you to other more suitable options.

Can the ESSF be used for costs relating to legal advice and consultation services?

No, the ESSF cannot be used for legal costs. However, the ESSF can be used for Process Server costs in certain scenarios.

Does the applicant have to be in receipt of certain benefits in order to be considered for the ESSF?

No, the ESSF is open to all victims/survivors of domestic abuse that fit the eligibility criteria. The ESSF is not means tested.

Does the ESSF pay the victim/survivor of domestic abuse directly?

No, the referring organisation will be reimbursed by the ESSF accordingly. We aim to pay invoices within 14 days of receipt.

Still have questions?

Feel free to reach out to us to explore any additional enquiries or questions you might have regarding the ESSF. We welcome the opportunity to discuss and provide further information.

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Thurrock Council
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