Refuge, the UK’s largest single provider of specialist domestic abuse services, has recorded record highs in demand for its National Domestic Abuse Service Helpline as Government lockdown restrictions have eased bringing the total number of calls and contacts to Refuge’s Helpline to more than 40,000 since the start of lockdown (this figure includes numbers of women accessing a new ‘live chat’ service).
Refuge’s telephone Helpline, which ordinarily logs around 270 calls and contacts from women, friends and family members needing support every day, saw an increase of 77% during June. The first week in July saw a 54% rise in women needing refuge space (emergency accommodation) when compared with the last week in June – the highest number of women needing emergency accommodation during the lockdown period.
During June, 73% of callers to Refuge’s Helpline were from survivors of domestic abuse. 40% of these callers were provided with information on, for example, child contact and housing rights. 17% of callers were supported to make safety plans and 15% were looking for a refuge space indicating they needed to leave their homes urgently.
During the same month Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline website, where women experiencing domestic abuse can access support if they are unable to call, saw an increase of more than 800% compared to pre-lockdown statistics recorded.
For more information go to Refuge’s website (opens in a new tab)