Domestic abuse has risen 25% during lockdown!!
Number of women killed by men is the highest it has been for more than a decade!!
Help us to help women who are survivors of domestic abuse or sexual violence.
We desperately need more space to work with survivors of domestic abuse or sexual violence.
It has been on the news a lot recently that the cases of domestic abuse during the current pandemic has increased dramatically. Over two-thirds of survivors responding to a Women’s Aid survey in April 2020 told the national charity that domestic abuse is escalating under lockdown and 72 per cent said that their abuser has more control over their life since Covid-19.
The UK’s National Domestic Abuse line has seen a 25% increase in online requests and calls since the lockdown. The number of women killed by men was the highest it’s been for at least 11 years with 16 domestic homicides during the first three weeks of lockdown, including those of children. This survey also identifies concerns that the lockdown is triggering a steep decline in women’s mental health and predicts that this will be long lasting, again increasing the vulnerability risk to women and their children. .
We work with women who have experienced domestic or sexual violence in the London Borough of Sutton. We run the Freedom Programme - a 12 week programme to help women understand their abuse and we offer free of charge, long term 1-1 counselling. This helps enable survivors to process their trauma, to work towards a greater understanding of their experience and to reduce their anxiety, hopefully leading to a live free of abuse.
Our counselling project is a victim of its own success, with 95 women receiving weekly counselling but another 100 on our waiting list, who may wait for 6 months or more before they can access the service.
We are fundraising for a one-storey extension at our premises which will provide us with an extra 40+ hours of counselling space each week. This will help to reduce our waiting lists, especially as we expect demand for our service to dramatically increase once government restrictions have been lifted and the true extent of domestic abuse during this crisis becomes apparent. It will also enable us to provide additional Freedom Programmes in the evening and at weekends so that we can help women who work during the day.
During the current pandemic, we have found a greater demand for our foodbank and we are currently supporting 43 families with weekly food donations. The new extension will provide us with more storage space so that we can continue with this project as currently the foodbank is located in our crèche room. Once the children return we need space to store the food safely so that the children can play again.