The coronavirus lockdown has had unimaginable effects on our society, including a devastating surge in domestic abuse cases.
West Midlands Police has recorded a daily average of 119 domestic abuse crimes since the government implemented measures that required people to stay at home, except for minimal purposes, on March 23rd.
While daily arrests have only increased slightly from the ‘normal’ average total, the number of calls and online requests for help has risen significantly as individuals are unable to seek the help and safety they need outside of their homes.
Offering help in new ways
Not every home is a safe place. Being forced to stay at home while isolating can make anyone experiencing domestic abuse feel trapped and vulnerable, which is why it’s so important that people have access to online resources.
In response to the staggering increase in domestic abuse cases, Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWA) has added a new webchat facility to its website, for women who need someone to talk to.
BSWA’s income generation and corporate relationships manager, Anna Fawcett says “Our services are more required than ever and are exacerbated by lockdown, so what women need from us hasn’t changed, it’s just more complicated to get them the help they need.”
The facility, which has been funded by Crisis, enables women to talk to a trained worker online and anonymously about what they are going through. Lines are open Monday – Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and is accessible when a speech bubble icon is visible in the bottom right of the BSWA website.
Barques is proud to have worked with BSWA to have made the project a reality and provide a hugely important facility for women from across the region to receive the guidance they need during these difficult times.
How you can support BSWA
BSWA works tirelessly to empower women to create a life in which they – and their families – can live free from domestic violence and abuse.
The charity operates through public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and charitable donations. Donations to BSWA can be made via its JustGiving page, here.
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