We are continuing to provide our Domestic Abuse service during the Coronavirus outbreak, and it's needed now more than ever. With everyone cooped up at home, people can be more exposed to abuse and at the same time less able to escape or seek help. We have introduced options for people to contact us by text or WhatsApp, in case they can't speak freely on the phone, and we have increased the availability of our legal advice, so people can receive help more swiftly. We are also liaising with the police and local support charities to make sure we do everything possible to reduce domestic abuse during this crisis. Please donate to help us continue our work.
Did you know that around 51,500 adults experienced domestic abuse in Norfolk last year? Someone you know - someone in your office, your street, your children’s school - is living in an abusive relationship. The impact of abuse is devastating for the individual as well as other family members, and it costs society dearly in terms of policing, health services etc. We advise victims on their legal options and help them break free from abuse.
Domestic abuse can cause short term injuries, long term health problems, and ongoing psychological issues ranging from anxiety to suicide. As well as affecting people's wellbeing, domestic abuse also impacts on their ability to work, care for children, and contribute to society. What's more, the children and others in the household suffer too. We want to empower people to escape abuse, to protect themselves in future and live their lives to the full.
Abuse can take many forms and isn't always violent - hear from domestic abuse survivors in Norfolk in this powerful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqZ-g6-VEj8&feature=youtu.be
Often domestic abuse cases are a matter of one person's word against another's. This means that there may not be enough evidence for the police to bring a criminal case against the perpetrator. However victims can apply to the courts themselves and get an injunction or court order to protect them. Ideally a victim would have their own lawyer, but not everyone can afford it, and Legal Aid is harder to get than you might think. This is where we at Norfolk Community Law Service come in.
We are a local charity offering free legal advice, thanks to our roster of Norfolk solicitors who volunteer their time to help people with a range of legal issues. At our Domestic Abuse service, our experienced solicitors explain to clients what their options are; we then help them to make a court application; and we can provide volunteers to go along to court with them and support them through the legal process. The court can order the abuser to leave the family home, to stay away from their victim and to stop harassing or intimidating them - a vital step in halting the abuse.
Our clients really value what we do: "Thank you so much for the wonderful service you provided. I would be lost without you." "Extremely grateful for the solicitor's blunt but friendly advice at an extremely traumatic time. Thank you." "Fantastic service!"
Women in poverty are especially likely to experience violence and abuse, and Great Yarmouth is one of the poorest parts of Norfolk and the UK. Currently at NCLS we see very few domestic abuse clients from the Yarmouth area. Is this because abuse doesn’t happen in Yarmouth? We don’t think so. We want to raise awareness and promote our service in Great Yarmouth, so that victims can get the protection they deserve. Your donation will help us to reach more people and give access to justice to those who need it.
We are developing publicity to reach out to people who might not know where to look, letting them know that help is out there. We’re getting involved with local organisations to make sure that they can pass on the word about our services. Your donation will help us to produce leaflets in different languages, attend events in the Great Yarmouth area, and network with other agencies to publicise our service. We want to make sure that everyone who needs us can find us.
If you are worried about domestic abuse affecting you or someone you know, visit https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/safety/domestic-abuse
If someone is in danger, dial 999
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.