Refuge is committed to a world where violence against women and girls is no longer tolerated. For 50 years, we have empowered women and children to rebuild their lives, free from fear and violence, by providing a range of life-saving and life-changing services.
Today it is the largest single-provider of specialist services to 7,000 survivors of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence on any given day. It provides a national network of 48 refuges, child support services, independent advocacy and community outreach, as well as specialist services for survivors of modern slavery, ‘honour’-based violence, and female genital mutilation.
Thanks to NET Coronavirus Appeal funds, Refuge is working with partners in the devolved nations (Scottish Women’s Aid, Welsh Women’s Aid and NEXUS NI) to reach more women affected by domestic abuse through our 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline. Funding will help provide extra Helpline Adviser capacity, additional management, promote staff wellbeing, and work towards making the Helpline web platform more accessible, with an initial focus on women with visual and hearing impairments, and women who do not read or speak English.
At the height of the pandemic, contacts received and logged by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline were up 70% on average per month compared to the early part of 2020, before the pandemic hit; and Refuge knows that countless more women have not had the chance to reach out.
Women like Rebecca*, who had almost given up hope before coming to Refuge: “I really appreciate your support today, I have been trying for weeks to get support but for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to get any. It meant a lot to just have this space to talk about what’s happening and know I can get help.”
Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline freephone number is 0808 2000 247 or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk (access live chat Mon-Fri 3-10pm). For more information or advice please visit: https://www.refuge.org.uk/
*name changed to protect identity