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Social Justice

The domestic violence charities supporting survivors in the UK

Survivors of domestic violence and abuse need support year-round. These are some of the UK organisations providing help to those at risk

Domestic violence charities are seeing a surge in victims needing help because of the cost of living crisis.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of victims who live with or have financial ties to their abuser find it harder to leave because of the cost of living crisis, Women’s Aid found. 

This is supported by recent research by Refuge, which shows a spike in victims finding it harder to leave their abuser or returning to their abuser because of the cost of living crisis.

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2022, the government has released new statistics showing the police recorded 910,980 domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022. 

That is a 7.7 per cent increase compared with the previous year, and only reflects domestic abuse which is being reported to the police. Many women are too afraid to report abuse or do not recognise themselves as victims.

An estimated 6.9 per cent of women (1.7 million) and 3 per cent of men (699,000) experienced domestic abuse in the year up to March 2022. 

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There are several charities working to support people experiencing domestic violence that can provide temporary housing, confidential helplines offering emotional and practical support, and advocacy services. Here are a few, to turn to if you need help, wish to volunteer your time or expertise, or are able to donate financially.

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid has been developing policy and supporting UK women for more than 45 years. The charity can provide temporary housing, offers an online live chat, a forum to speak with other women who have survived domestic abuse, email links to support workers and a survivor’s handbook for help navigating life after experiencing domestic violence.

Refuge

Refuge opened the world’s first safe house for women and children fleeing domestic abuse in 1971, in West London’s Chiswick. Since then, the charity has grown into the UK’s biggest service provider for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence, supporting more than 6,000 women and children per day.

Available 365 days a year and 24 hours a day, those in need can freephone Refuge’s national helpline on 0808 2000 247 or seek support online.

Rape Crisis

With a string of independent centres across the UK, Rape Crisis provides support for survivors of sexual violence, and works to develop common understanding of abuse in all its forms. 

Visit the charity’s website to be directed to your nearest centre, to find resources about escaping abuse, or to chat online with an expert.

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Galop

Galop, run by LGBT+ people for LGBT+ people, supports those in the community who have experienced abuse, sexual violence and hate crimes.

They provide support over the phone and advocacy services for people who need assistance long-term, as well as campaigning for policy change to protect LGBT+ survivors of abuse.

Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters, created in 1979 to support Black and ethnic minority women, campaigns against gender-based violence and supports survivors. 

Their advice and resource centre is based in West London – though the charity’s work has a national reach – providing counselling, specialist advice, advocacy, casework and other support in several languages found in the local community. 

Men’s Advice Line

Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for men who are survivors of domestic abuse. The charity offers non-judgmental emotional support and practical advice as well as signposting to other services which will help protect men and their children from further abuse.

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