Solace the leading specialist provider of services for women and girls experiencing domestic abuse, and the largest in London, is launching a new emergency campaign calling for help to support their services as they continue to be stretched by the fallout of the pandemic.
Jane Jutsum, Director says ‘We know people are exhausted from the uncertainty of the last two years but we are asking for your help, our services are in critical care. We are being forced to turn away one in three women from our refuges, our advice line needs more staff to cope with the sheer number of calls we receive and we need vital funds to pay for safe crisis accommodation, clothes, food and essentials.”
Solace report that the impact of the pandemic caused massive increases in calls to the advice helpline which has now stabilised at this high level.
Jane Jutsum, Director says ‘It’s good news that the restrictions are now being lifted, but the high levels of domestic abuse and sexual violence provoked by the pandemic have not subsided. Cases continue to present at the now normalised critically high level and services like Solace are under intense pressure to keep women and children safe. We’re working during unprecedented times and many of our staff are experiencing the vicarious trauma of the women and families we support.’
The new appeal features the stories of women and girls that Solace have supported over the last year, voiced by staff members that show the devastating impact abuse has had on so many families.
Domestic abuse now accounts for one in eight crimes reported to the Met Police and official figures show 94,791 offences were reported in the year to October, nearly 260 a day across the capital, and a 9% increase on the previous year. Multiple offences take place against women and are not reported. This includes rape and sexual assault. Total of 61,158 rapes offences recorded nationally in year ending June 2021, amid the continuing debate over women’s safety with a dire response in terms of
Our battle with COVID isn’t over so our battle with domestic abuse and stalking worsens. This adds to risk, psychological damage and the need for safe support from our staff. Women face multiple challenges when it comes to living safely and domestic abuse and sexual violence are the most feared of experiences; compounded by a lack of resources, in terms of poverty levels magnified by the loss of the £20 uplift in universal credit, inadequate housing, healthcare provision including mental health and access to the courts and legal remedies.
Women and children are suffering from trauma and experiencing appalling levels of poverty and destitution, as if living in fear of harm or with abuse, is not enough.
We are all living with fear and uncertainty for our futures…imagine living through this with an abuser.
For more information on the campaign –
To donate: http://bit.ly/newyearsamefear
Credit: Solace Women’s Aid/Roll Nine Productions