Mid Sussex woman’s bid to help victims of domestic abuse

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A Mid Sussex woman who is a survivor of domestic abuse has now launched a bid to help other victims.

Fifty-eight-year-old Star Darke told the Middy she spent four years in a violent relationship during her younger years before finally gaining the courage to leave and is now determined to help other women in similar situations.

“I read something that said instances of domestic abuse had gone up by 48 per cent during lockdown,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t just turn and look the other way.”

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Star, who lives in Haywards Heath, decided to raise money for the charity Refuge.org.uk.

Star Darke SUS-200106-155437001Star Darke SUS-200106-155437001
Star Darke SUS-200106-155437001 | Other 3rd Party

“I have been known for the last 30 years for my long and often multi-coloured hair so I decided to shave it off to raise funds for Refuge.

“I started with a goal of £150 and overnight it reached more than £400 and it’s just growing.” She has now raised more than £1,400.

“On the night of the shave we had great fun. My son Ross did the deed whilst being watched by supporters on Facebook Live,” said Star.

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People keep saying I am amazing and brave but the supporters are the amazing ones and I am continually blown away by people’s generosity.

Star Darke after her head shave SUS-200106-155852001Star Darke after her head shave SUS-200106-155852001
Star Darke after her head shave SUS-200106-155852001 | Other 3rd Party

“The brave ones are those who live with the threat of domestic violence and don’t know where to turn, or if indeed they will live to face another day.”

Mid Sussex Councillor Anne Jones, who has long campaigned for a refuge for victims of domestic abuse in Mid Sussex, said Star’s fundraiser was a ‘wonderful idea.’

“I really value what she is doing to highlight this issue.”

She added: “I am dealing with victims of domestic violence and it has been pretty awful in Mid Sussex. We just don’t have the support here.

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“I have seen women losing their homes and their children and I’m certain the victims have been worse off because the support isn’t there.”

She said it wasn’t just women, or men, who were victims, but also children who were often living in fear.

“Anyone living with violence should be helped and supported in every way we can.”

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