"Many a Christmas was ruined by him. He told my kids: ‘Only good kids get a present from Santa."
These are the heartbreaking words spoken by a mother who fled an abusive home with her three children.
She stayed with her children at Nottingham based refuge Midlands Women's Aid.
And now, a kind-hearted Nottinghamhshire woman has set up a Justgiving page to give children fleeing domestic abuse a happy Christmas.
Gemma Burman aims to raise £580 by December 14, to buy Christmas presents for the 26 children currently supported by MWA.
Gemma said: “I’ve been working indirectly with MWA for the last three or four years now, and we’ve had many discussions regarding strategies reduce the obstacles for women who wish to leave their home, and reaffirm that they’re entering into a caring and safe environment.
"Domestic Abuse incidents increase during the holiday season and the pressure to create a perfect Christmas for their children may discourage them from taking the step to leave.
"With this fundraising, we hope to reassure and empower women with the knowledge that people care and that their children can still have a great Christmas experience whilst away from home.”
Gemma has set a budget of £20 per child, with £60 extra cash to buy items such as rechargeable batteries and gift wrapping. Any extra money will be spent on enhancing the Children’s experience at MWA.
The refuge will choose presents based on the children's list to Santa.
Catherine Saunders, CEO at Midlands Women's Aid, is grateful to everyone who supports the refuge throughout the year but especially at Christmas;
Catherine said: “Christmas is the time of year where the rate of Domestic Abuse in the household increases and children are more likely to witness the abuse or become a victim themselves.
"We see an increase in referrals at this time.
"We provide 10 units of Refuge accommodation and sadly we are full all year and often must turn families away.
"We do our best to ensure these families have a great time however due to limited funding we cannot provide new gifts and seasonal items.
"We rely heavily on donations and fund raising.
“This Christmas we will have 26 children with ages ranging from 3 -17 years old.
“By supporting this appeal, you can help us to make this Christmas a safe, abuse free and positive experience for them.”
A Mother who fled from domestic abuse with her three children told the MWA: "Every year was a struggle. I talked myself into leaving but something got in the way.
"Birthdays, school holidays, promises to change.
"I worked part-time and paid monthly into a Christmas club for many years to provide a special time for kids as they got older.
"Three years on the trot he came home drunk a day or two before Christmas and stole all the Christmas stuff to sell for his alcohol addiction.
"Many a Christmas was ruined by him. He told my kids ‘Only good kids get a present from Santa.’
"Last year 2017 I was in Refuge with my kids.
"It was the best they ever had.
"Safe, sound and the staff made it so special.
"The kids thought it was the best Christmas they ever had”
You can donate by clicking here