I would like to talk about the issue of domestic abuse during lockdown. As you may know, the rate of domestic violence has increased significantly since lockdown began – in fact there has been a whopping 25% increase in calls and online requests to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline. Statistically speaking, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence and for those women who are trapped, either psychologically or physically, with an abusive partner during this crisis, it’s a constant threat.
Among the many organisations who help to support abuse survivors is Fylde Coast Women’s Aid, a charity that provides free advice and support to vulnerable people, including help with rehousing, financial and emotional aid. This charity is available to individuals in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre and has over 25 years of experience with helping survivors of domestic abuse.
The reason this charity is so important to me stems from my own experience with them.
In 2012 I was brutally attacked by my partner after just a month of dating. He punched me several times in the head and stood on my neck in an attempt to strangle me, all while threatening my family should I retaliate. I was completely unprepared for how to deal with such a devastating attack and that’s where Fylde Coast Women’s Aid came to the rescue.
I was assigned a helper who met me regularly at public locations, gave me advice on how to protect myself and supported me emotionally through a very dark time. I will be forever grateful for their help in becoming a survivor of domestic abuse rather than a victim and so I wanted to spread the word about their services and how to get in touch with them.
FCWA are available to speak to via both phone and email every day and you can even speak to them in a safe space at Boots’ pharmacies. It is also important to note that those
fleeing domestic abuse are not required to adhere to lockdown and can also access the new “rail to refuge” scheme via Women’s Aid for free train travel to refuge accommodation.
If you are suffering abuse, or need advice, you can call 01253596699 (though the opening hours can differ) or visit www.fcwa.co.uk
Given how much this charity has helped me and so many others, I have set up a fundraiser and have so far managed to raise a total of £274. Hopefully this will give a little support to this vital organisation who offer so much.
By: Sophie Adkins