You may have seen press coverage about the huge increase in domestic violence and abuse during the lockdown. We've seen helpline calls double and searches for refuge beds increase by 100% in one week, with women and families trying to find somewhere to flee to. We have extended our services and have even fundraised to open a Live Online Chat which in the week of 8th June 2020 has seen its highest week since it started back in April, a 350% increase in a week.
Due to the impact of coronavirus, we are receiving fewer donations of essential items and our supporters have had to cancel fundraising events and activities. We need to make up for this loss of income in order to continue providing essential support. We've also seen the economy fall through the floor and people struggling financially everywhere. It's much more difficult to fundraise at this time, and violence against women charities are facing the prospect of less income and higher demand.
We will continue to offer and extend wherever possible our life saving services to women and children, giving them safe places to live, go to school and recover, as well as giving legal advice, supporting through court and ensuring they have the essential things they need to be safe during these scary and challenging times.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence and abuse in their lifetime. Every year, Leeds Women's Aid supports thousands of women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse through a range of specialist services including emergency refuge accommodation. When women arrive at our refuges they usually have very few possessions, part of our support involves providing them with essential items.
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