EMBARGOED: Thursday 9th April 2020

Charity launches domestic abuse campaign amid coronavirus lockdown

Thursday 9 April:

Crisis charity Hestia’s national campaign UK SAYS NO MORE is launching ‘Listening from Home’, a new domestic abuse awareness campaign to encourage family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours to be aware of, and report, signs of domestic abuse whilst the UK is in lockdown.

The charity warns that people in abusive relationships are at increased risk during lockdown as they have no escape from their abusers.  They are already seeing an increase in the number of people seeking support and activity on their free Bright Sky app, which provides help and information for those in an abusive relationship, has increased by over 30 percent. 

The campaign advises those who may concerned about a friend, neighbour or family member on how to access support, by following these guidelines:

  • Check-in with victims but be mindful that communication channels may be monitored
  • Call 999 if you are concerned for someone's safety - the police are continuing to offer the same level of support as always
  • Use Hestia’s Bright Sky app to contact specialist domestic abuse services

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and the charity warns that self-isolation is offering a new method of control for perpetrators.

Lyndsey Dearlove, Head of UK SAYS NO MORE at Hestia said:

“Overnight, victims have lost their means of getting support, their chance to confide in other parents at the school gate, and the opportunity to reach out to friends, family and co-workers.

It is crucial that victims of domestic abuse know that support services are still open and can help. Our campaign aims to give people the tools and resources to provide a community response to domestic abuse. Our concern is that many will simply think there is no where they can go for help because of the lockdown and coronavirus. We want women to know that Hestia’s refuges are open, and we can support you.

We believe we will see a rise in cases, and we need to be ready for that, whenever it may come. Victims may feel they are isolated, but we want them to know that their voices are being heard.”

Kat, a survivor of domestic abuse said:

“By opening up to my friend, I knew she would help me. By disclosing to someone I knew this would be the turning point and I had to get away. My friend gave me the strength to report what was happening to the police. I felt terrified and relieved at the same time. I was ashamed this had happened to me but ultimately, I felt believed. It feels extremely lonely when you are going through something as terrifying and isolating as domestic abuse. Do not suffer alone, please tell someone.”

For advice and information please visit: www.UKSAYSNOMORE.org/listening-from-home/ and use #ListeningFromHome on social media.

 

-ENDS-

 

Contact: [email protected] | 07845 555 995

 

 

Notes to editor:

 

Case study available on request

 

About Hestia:

For 50 years, Hestia has provided support and hope every step of the way of recovery. Today, millions of people are experiencing domestic abuse, modern slavery and challenges with their mental health. Hestia believes no-one should suffer alone. Together, we can make sure people find a life beyond crisis.

At Hestia we support adults and children in times of crisis. We deliver services across London and the surrounding regions, as well as campaign and advocate nationally on the issues that affect the people we work with. Last year we supported 10,766 men, women and children. This includes victims of modern slavery, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, young care leavers and older people. From giving someone a home, to helping them to get the right mental health support, we support people at the moment of crisis and enable them to build a life beyond a crisis. We are supported by nearly 600 volunteers across London who provide specialist skills such as art therapy, yoga, IT, gardening and cooking, as well as befriending and fundraising.

 

About UK SAYS NO MORE:

UK SAYS NO MORE is a national campaign launched to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault across the UK. The campaign was launched by London charity Hestia in 2016. UK SAYS NO MORE seeks to unite and strengthen a diverse community of members of the public and organisations nationwide to actively take a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault under one powerful, visual symbol. The campaign provides open-source tools and resources for individuals and organisations to take action and get involved in ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Together we can challenge the myths and misconceptions around these issues, share resources and information, and ultimately work together to make real positive change.

 

About Bright Sky:

Hestia provides a free-to-download mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.