International Women’s Day: Women’s Aid launches urgent fundraising appeal to prevent closure of Live Chat service

'Unless we receive £200k funding very soon, the service faces closure', Adina Claire says

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Sunday 08 March 2020 09:08
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International Women's Day 2020: How it began and why it's still important

Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid is launching an urgent appeal on International Women's Day to raise £200,000 to help keep its live-saving Live Chat service running.

According to Women’s Aid, the service offered advice to 30,000 people since it opened in October 2019, with 70 per cent of callers saying it was the first time they had contacted the charity.

The service is run by expert domestic abuse workers who offer survivors free, confidential and non-judgemental advice and support about their situation, including emotional and practical support such as finding the woman a refuge space.

However, the charity is concerned that without urgent funding the Live Chat service could be at risk of closure.

As a result, Women’s Aid is appealing for donations so that it can continue to help thousands of women and children every year.

The charity states that a donation of just £5 funds a single live chat with an expert domestic abuse worker, meaning one single £5 contribution could provide vital support and advice for a woman in crisis.

Adina Claire, acting co-chief executive of Women’s Aid, described the Live Chat service as “life-saving” for women experiencing domestic abuse.

“We know that so many women feel intimidated by the thought of picking up the phone and talking about traumatic experiences, and indeed for many women it is not safe to use the phone with their abuser nearby,” Claire said.

"We launched this live chat service so that women can explain in writing what they’re going through, and receive confidential, expert advice on their situation. We are now very concerned that, unless we receive £200k funding very soon, the service faces closure.”

Laura Winter, sports presenter and survivor spokeswoman for the appeal, agreed, adding that she would have found a service like Women’s Aid’s Live Chat “valuable” when she was experiencing domestic abuse.

“The reality is, the live chat saves lives, it’s a really valuable tool,” Winter said. “

"Domestic abuse does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone. There are thousands of women who have no way out, who are coerced, who aren’t believed.”

Alice Liveing, fitness professional and survivor ambassador for Women’s Aid, described the threat of closure as “incredibly sad”.

“This service is invaluable for women and girls who are trapped in abusive relationships, particularly those who might feel nervous about calling a helpline,” she said.

“It’s certainly something I would’ve used when I was in that situation.”

If you are in need of information and support, you can email Women’s Aid at helpline@womensaid.org.uk or contact a local domestic abuse service by using the Domestic Abuse Directory.

You can find out more about the work that Women’s Aid does here.

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