In Britain, like in much of the world, domestic violence rates have skyrocketed since the government enacted a quarantine policy. Refuge has seen a 700% increase in calls to its helpline. Counting Dead Women has recorded 16 women and children killed by male abusers as part of domestic abuse in the three weeks between 23rd March and 12th April –double the ‘normal’ rate.
Whilst the government has announced £2 million to help online and phone support for domestic violence, it has done nothing to increase the actual capacity of beds that allow survivors to walk away.
So far 75,000+ people have signed our petition calling for the Government to find emergency accommodation for women and children escaping domestic abuse during the national lock down. Now we need to turn a list of names into a team of people ready for action.
If you're interested in supporting the campaign, we have so many effective ways for you to get involved. Please sign up below for more information
For people for whom this is your current or former real life we have an additional message: we know this is hard and can bring up tough feelings and memories.
We exist to build collective power and change systems. We're sorry that we don't currently have the resources to support individuals. If you're in a place where you think it would benefit you, we would love for you to join us to campaign to make change.
But if what you need legal, practical, or emotional support, there are a number of excellent organisations that can offer you specialist care. Some options for support are:
- The National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. They are open 24 hours a day and are a free phone number.
- Chayn.co offer online support in a number of languages, and can send resources for support at pre-set times and with hidden titles too.
- Women's Aid have listed information for survivors during the pandemic here hwww.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
, They also operate support online and on the phone
- Southall Black Sisters provide specialist services for BAME women https://southallblacksisters.org.uk/