The Water Lily Project (WLP) in Christchurch, a charity that supports vulnerable women in the town and surrounding areas, is asking local residents to support this national campaign.
Liz Carter, Water Lily project manager said, “This year is more important than ever with a significant increase in violence, harassment and abuse towards women during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We urgently need to work together to prevent violence and make sure our communities and homes are safe for everyone. Here at WLP, as a result of the lockdown, we have seen a rise in the numbers of women seeking support and help and we are now nearly at full capacity. Across the country, it’s the same picture.”
More than 40,000 calls and contacts were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of lockdown, most by women seeking help. In June, calls and contacts were nearly 80 per cent higher than usual, says the charity Refuge, which runs a helpline for those suffering domestic abuse.
Separate data from Counting Dead Women, a project that records the killing of women by men in the UK, identified 35 murders, with another 12 strongly suspected cases between 23 March and the start of July, when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
Liz added, “We must also use this campaign to highlight the fact that domestic abuse isn’t always physical violence. It can be sexual, psychological, emotional or financial in an intimate or family type relationship. It can also take place at work and, during the pandemic, workplace harassment has moved online which makes it far more difficult to notice.”
White ribbons can be bought from www.whiteribbon.org.uk/shop and cost £1.50 each.
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