Black victims of domestic abuse reminded “help is available during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic”

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    The government wants to remind those in the Black community that help and support is still available during the coronavirus pandemic through the ongoing #YouAreNotAlone domestic abuse campaign. 

     

    The #YouAreNotAlone campaign, which is open to people of all ethnicities, ages and backgrounds, was first set up in April 2020 in response to the increased demand for domestic abuse services during the first national lockdown. It aims to reassure and inform anybody at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse that:

     

    • Help and support is available for victims and their children during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic 
    • There is support available for all victims if they are able to leave home to seek help during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Under the current lockdown rules, people are allowed to leave home if they are at risk of harm, including domestic abuse.
    • If you are in immediate danger you should call 999 and the police will respond.
    • You, and your children, can still access domestic abuse support services even if you are worried about your immigration status 

     

    Liz Kingsley, Director of Safe Arms, a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of domestic abuse and improving the lives and mental well-being of domestic abuse survivors, said: “Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, sexual, emotional and economic, and can be carried out by a partner, ex-partner or a family member. Whoever the abuser is, and whatever form the domestic abuse takes, all domestic abuse is a crime.   

    Liz Kingsley – Director of Safe Arms

    “I want all Black women that are victims of domestic abuse to realise they are not alone, and that help is available for them and their children during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. We all have the right to live free-from pain and anxiety, so I urge people to put themselves before their partner or community and seek the advice and support they deserve.”

     

    Adesope Olajide SHOPSYDOO TV and radio broadcaster, and podcast host, said:  

    “Domestic abuse is a disease that affects the entire (Black) community, which is why people should band together to support the men and women that have experienced this crime.  It’s very important to ensure that victims have access to the right support and assistance needed to aid them in their recovery.  As a public figure, I am committed to using my voice, influence and platform to sign post people to where they can receive help, and to educate young people on the long-lasting effects of domestic abuse.”

    Adesope Olajide – SHOPSYDOO TV and radio broadcaster

     

    According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) year ending March 2020:

    • An estimated 7.3% of women (1.6 million) and 3.6% of men (757,000) experienced domestic abuse in the last year.
    • Between April 2020 and February 2021, women’s domestic abuse charity Refuge’s saw a 61% increase in calls and contacts logged compared with the first three months of 2020.
    • Refuge also saw a 700% increase in the number of visits to its Helpline website (from 10,500 to 73,595 average visits per month), which holds information on recognising domestic abuse, safety planning and women’s rights and options.

     

    The #YouAreNotAlone campaign also encourages people that know someone experiencing domestic abuse to seek support at gov.uk/domestic-abuse or to call the freephone 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline being provided by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 (in England, see alternative helplines below)

     

    Following the recent widespread discussions about women’s safety, the Government reopened its Violence Against Women and Girls call for evidence. The aim is to understand the views and lived experiences of people from all backgrounds to help shape the new Violence Against Women and Girls strategy and ensure the Government is able to protect more victims and tackle perpetrators.

     

    To learn more about the support available during and after the national lockdown, visit gov.uk/domestic-abuse. You can also call or contact one of the below organisations: 

    Helplines:

    • The Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline run by Refuge for victims in England: 0808 2000 247. The Helpline also has access to interpreters.
    • The 24-hour Live Fear Free helpline for domestic abuse victims in Wales: 0808 80 10 800 or text 078600 77 333.
    • The Men’s Advice line offers support for male victims of domestic abuse: 0808 801 0327.

    Key organisations: 

    • CAHN Domestic and sexual violence support – this service was set up during the coronavirus pandemic to offer advice and support to men and women that have experienced domestic abuse. The contact number is 07710 022382 
    • London Black Women’s Project – an organisation that works with Black, Asian and visible minority ethnic women who have experienced domestic abuse. Contact number 02084720528
    • SAFE ARMS  –  a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of domestic abuse and improving the lives and mental well-being of domestic abuse survivors. For support email:  info@safearms.org.uk
    • Southall Black Sisters , a not-for-profit organisation committed to challenging all forms of gender-related violence against Black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women and empowering them to gain more control over their lives. Contact number 02085719595

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