We are partnered with Women’s Aid, a charity close to our hearts. Together we will work to end domestic abuse against women and children.
Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children, providing lifesaving services, empowering survivors, and campaigning for change in policy, practice and awareness. As a business founded by three female friends, OKA is built on the belief that home should be a sanctuary, a safe space reserved for precious moments with loved ones. We feel passionate about Women’s Aid’s important work; its mission to create a future where survivors feel safe in their homes and domestic abuse is not tolerated resonates deeply with OKA’s core values.
Women’s Aid is a federation of over 170 organisations which provide just under 300 local lifesaving services to women and children across the country. Since its beginning, the charity has been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic abuse.
Women’s Aid empowers survivors by keeping their voices at the heart of everything it does, working with, and for, women and children by listening to them and responding to their needs. Its services include a discreet Live Chat Helpline, which offers real-time, confidential access to a female support worker, and a Survivors’ Forum, a safe and anonymous space where women can share their experiences.
Women’s Aid also provides important information hubs: the Survivor’s Handbook offers practical advice and support for women experiencing domestic abuse, while dedicated website Love Respect seeks to empower young people to recognise the markers of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
The work of Women’s Aid has never been more needed or important. Domestic abuse is at epidemic levels in the UK, and it is not going away. In the year ending March 2022, 1.7 million women experienced domestic abuse*, while on average one in seven children and young people under the age of 18 have experienced domestic violence during childhood.* Women's Aid's advocacy projects and support services help thousands each year, but current systems are failing; lifesaving services have been subject to funding cuts, leaving them overstretched and under-resourced. On average three women every fortnight are murdered by their male partner or ex-partner* – it is truly a life and death issue.
To […] get advice and reassurance from people who have lived what you have is literally life-changing and possibly life-saving.
Survivors’ Forum user
Since partnering with Women’s Aid, our store, office and warehouse teams have undertaken a number of fundraising initiatives to support the charity, from bake sales to exercise challenges. Our Dash to Dallas event saw employees log their miles walked/run/cycled in a bid to total the distance between our Westport and Dallas stores, and in August 2022 10 of our members of staff took part in the London Asics 10k. With the advent of our debut podcast House of Tales, we chose to donate £1 for every listen of Episode 5 – Tales of Nourishing with Rachel Khoo, best-selling food writer, broadcaster and Women’s Aid ambassador – along with the profits from sales of our Raspberry Velvet Cushion Covers and our exclusively designed Christmas Cards.
The money we have raised goes towards funding a full-time Direct Services Support Worker called Kat, who supports survivors of domestic abuse through the Live Chat Helpline, Survivors’ Forum and via email. These crucial services offer a safe and discreet route to emotional support that validates women’s experiences of abuse, assists family members who want to know how best to help loved ones, and provides practical assistance, such as signposting to legal services or child contact.
We've had lots of feedback that women have struggled to talk about what they've been through over the phone; they may be unable to articulate what's happened or feel too overwhelmed or emotional to talk out loud. For many Live Chat has been a bridge to feeling stronger and taking those next steps.
Kat, Senior Direct Services Support Worker at Women’s Aid
To kick off our second year working with Women’s Aid, artist Alexandria Coe has created a painting in her signature style exclusively for OKA, which has been turned into a run of 100 prints, the profits of which will go to Women’s Aid. This limited-edition print is titled ‘Unity’ and celebrates the female form in all its strength and power. The original, an oil on canvas, will be sold at auction in support of the charity – watch this space for more information. Discover more about the prints and Coe’s creative process.
We believe that, whether temporary or not, where you are living should feel like home, so our expert in-house interior designers will be putting their skills to good use by redesigning one of Women’s Aid’s refuges. These important spaces offer a free and safe house for women, and our team will help to create a place that feels as warm and welcoming as possible.
OKA stores will be getting involved too. We’re connecting our 13 stores around the country to Women’s Aid’s organisations to donate products to local refuges, and offer women moving on to safety a “new home” gift.
*Statistics from womensaid.org. For more detailed information please click here.
Women’s Aid Federation of England is a registered charity in England & Wales (1054154)