The rise of domestic abuse and how we need your help

by Charlotte Pringle from South Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service (SoLDAS) Boston Women’s Aid


Just imagine having to leave your home with no more than the clothes on your back and arriving somewhere you’ve never been before, with none of the possessions we all need to function in life. Now imagine doing that because you’ve been the victim of domestic abuse. Thankfully, for most of us, this will only ever take place in our imagination. But, for some people, this is reality. At South Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service, we help people deal with this reality every single day.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound effect on so many things in life. Sadly, one of those has been a worrying rise in cases of domestic abuse. Between March and June in 2020 alone, there was a 7% rise in recorded offences to the police that were flagged as domestic abuse related, when compared to the same time period in the previous year. Perhaps even more worrying was a huge increase in demand for domestic abuse victim support services. The National Domestic Abuse helpline recorded a 65% increase in calls and general contact between above and June last year, compared with the first three months of the year.

 

At the South Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service, we provide a wide range of support and services for people who experience domestic abuse. On average, we support around 360 adults and children each and every year. Our services include providing vital refuge for single people and families in the South of Lincolnshire, as well as specialist practical and emotional support. We also deliver our Freedom Programme, which helps victims make sense of and understand what has happened to them, with a view to helping them move on from what are often horrific and prolonged experiences.

 

However, our work extends far beyond a simple reactive approach. We believe in the importance of education and raising awareness of the causes and outcome of domestic abuse. And we believe this starts at an early age. We regularly speak to children in primary and secondary education through awareness days. Our mission is to eradicate domestic abuse. It’s a bold one, but one we will never stop trying to achieve.

 

Our home from home programme


As part of our proactive approach to providing help where it is really needed, we have recently launched a new initiative that asks people and businesses to support us to help provide much-needed things for those who have experienced domestic abuse. We are trying to raise funds to help us refurbish our rooms to make them welcoming, warm and, above all else, comforting. We think it’s the least we can do for people who need it more than you could ever imagine.

 

Sadly, we don’t receive any core funding and so we rely solely on grants and the generosity of people and businesses to provide our service. If you would like to find out more information about our work, or you would like to support us then we’d love to hear from you. You can speak to us on 01205 311272 or by emailing info@bostonwa.co.uk

 

One day, we’d like to close our charity because there’s no need for our services. But, until that point, we will keep doing all we can to help people deal with the consequences of domestic abuse. Because, as one of our brave survivors said: “Being in refuge gave me the confidence to not be lured back to him. It gave me the time and knowledge to think about the abuse. If it wasn’t for the South Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service giving me a safe place to live, I’d still be living with abuse”.

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