We are pleased to launch The Covid-19 Crisis Project offering safe crisis accommodation with specialist support to women and children fleeing domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), across London during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This project, part of a wider MOPAC programme is, supported by MOPAC and the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, is a partnership, led by Solace Women’s Aid, with support to women with no recourse to public funds, coordinated by Southall Black Sisters, and support provided by specialist VAWG organisations.
The project will provide crisis accommodation for three months and will enable women to flee domestic abuse/ VAWG during the Covid-19 pandemic. This will provide extra capacity to help women safely flee at a time when refuge, and other crisis accommodation, are overstretched and unable to meet the increased demand for spaces. There will be vital resettlement support provided to women to move onto appropriate accommodation at the end of the crisis period.
Fiona Dwyer, Solace, CEO said: “We saw a 49 per cent rise in calls to our London Advice Line the week before lockdown and since then have been working with a growing number of women who have managed to leave their abuser, all of whom have been considered at high risk of further harm. Never has the need for safe accommodation been greater and we are relieved to be able to deliver this ground-breaking model of support at a time of crisis for women and children in London. Solace also brings to the project, vital counselling and a package of critical welfare support.”
Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters, Director said: “The project will help to form a much needed critical safety net for abused women and children, especially migrant women who have ‘no recourse to public funds’. In these unprecedented times, no vulnerable group should be excluded from support and protection. We hope that the VAWG model of support that we are developing will be replicated around the country and that local authorities with support from the government will do the right thing by underwriting the costs needed to meet its human rights obligations to keep all women and children safe and protected, irrespective of their immigration status.”
The project is open to any woman in London and referrals can be taken from organisations or individuals.
The referrals line is open Monday – Friday 10.00 – 4.00pm.