As lockdown eases, many people are enjoying renewed freedoms, but Solace, a leading domestic abuse provider in the UK is dealing with more calls than ever before from women facing and fleeing abuse.
During Covid-19 many women were monitored 24/7 and as families are finally able to leave their homes, Solace has seen calls to their free advice line more than double, with a 117% rise in callers since before the pandemic.
To raise awareness and much needed support to increase the capacity of the helpline, Solace has launched a powerful new summer campaign video to raise awareness about the situation of women contacting their services.
The film depicts what is becoming a new trend Solace has witnessed on their helpline; women are now calling on their way to work, on the school run or even from schools seeking help to flee violent homes.
The film features Roisin Ross, a Sexual Health Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor and Solace staff member, portraying the advice line worker. During the pandemic our staff members have helped women flee abuse with more complex, difficult problems as a result of restrictions and stay at home orders.
The short film brings to life the change an empowering call can have on women fleeing abuse, and finding that moment of freedom. Solace can help women with advice, counselling, or support to reach the safety of a refuge via a taxi or secure pickup.
The film was shot by female cinematographer Bea Delgado and award-winning Director Alfie Dale and produced by female-founded Roll Nine Productions.
Jane Jutsum, Solace Director says: “The last 15 months have been really difficult for everyone, but for women and children living with abuse it is terrifying and often life threatening. We have seen a truly alarming rise in calls since March 2020 when the lockdown began. We are really proud of this campaign highlighting the incredible work of our staff, but most of all showing the reality of what it is like for women when they need to flee from abuse. By partnering with Alfie Dale, we were able to bring to life the critical moment a woman realises she’s safe and about to get a fresh start with the support of Solace.”
Solace supports more than 23,000 women and girls each year as well as a small but increasing number of men. We run a wide range of services from an advice line, safe houses and rape crisis support. More recently we have been accelerating our work with young people in schools as they are in one of the highest age groups to experience domestic abuse in their relationships.
Fiona Dwyer, Solace Chief Executive Officer says: “Our work is crucial to supporting women and children, particularly across London, enabling them to build safe and strong lives. Our services have seen an exponential rise in demand since the start of the pandemic and we urgently need further funding to enable us to answer every call to continue our life saving work.”