We have to date awarded £81,633 to support domestic abuse organisations from our Coronavirus Response Funding.

We know that before the pandemic, 3,485 CIN (children in need) assessments in Surrey had domestic abuse identified as a factor in their case assessment.

The National Domestic Abuse helpline saw a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help in the first couple of weeks after lockdown, according to the charity, Refuge.[1]

We also know that the demand for Childline’s counselling sessions increased by nearly 20% in early April, relating to abuse or neglect.

On 17 April, Childline reported “During the past week Childline has delivered 363 counselling sessions where children have experienced physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect – up nearly a fifth from the week before.”[2]

So, reports of domestic abuse are increasing while lockdown continues, and we can also assume that as always there is a huge amount going unreported.

We already know that 35 women and children so far have been murdered during the start of lockdown to the end of last week and that since lockdown has lifted, Surrey Police has seen a 7% rise in the number of domestic abuse incidents compared to the same period last year and on average will record 28 domestic abuse crimes every day. (Surrey Police, July 2020)

Prior to the pandemic, in 2017, there were an estimated 35,400 adult victims of domestic abuse in Surrey, with 14,363 reports of domestic abuse to Surrey Police. “Consequently, whilst domestic abuse remains prevalent within the county and nationally, sustainable funding of outreach services and refuges within Surrey is essential in ensuring men, women and children receive effective and timely, needs-led
assistance.”[3]

Key issue is the potential increase as lockdown continues. According to a recent survey, “Two in five are desperate to escape those they’ve been cooped-up with – 40% think that spending time away from those they’re self-isolating with will have a positive difference on their outlook” (survey conducted online over the weekend 2-3 May by Ipsos Mori).[4]

How our grants are helping:

Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid, a domestic abuse charity based in Reigate told us:

“The data has shown us that some women and children have already lost their lives and others are in grave danger – they have had little opportunity to escape.

We have women coming to us who have been sleeping rough, sleeping in their cars with children or sent to unsafe hostels and B&B accommodation where they are vulnerable to repeated victimisation. Women who have reached my service in recent weeks have told me about the terror of abuse during the confinement of lockdown.”

We recently awarded a grant of £58,560.63 to Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid to open a new Refuge that has the capacity to home 20 women and their families fleeing domestic violence.

Working in partnership with YourSanctuary, Surrey County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner, we have been able to ensure more support for these families during this critical time.

Below are the grants we have awarded locally to support domestic abuse.

CharityProject DescriptionAmount Awarded
Total£81,632.63
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services
Funding to upgrade the phone system for a charity to support victims of domestic abuse remotely during the Coronavirus pandemic£5,000
Personal Independence Support CICFunding toward an organisation that offer support and advice to children and young people suffering from domestic abuse, during the COVID-19 pandemic£5,000
RASASC Guildford
Funding toward a charity that supports those who have suffered from rape and sexual abuse, based in Guildford, to convert their service from face to face to a work from home and online set up, during the COVID-19 pandemic£5,000
Reigate and Banstead Women's AidFunding to cover capital costs of setting up a refuge for people escaping Domestic Violence during the Coronavirus crisis£58,560.63
South West Surrey Domestic Abuse Service
Funding for a Domestic Abuse charity to support children as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic£5,000
yourSanctuaryContribution towards salary costs for a charity helping victims of domestic abuse during the Coronavirus pandemic£3,072

Source

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52157620 (6 April 2020)

[2] https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/news-opinion/childline-lifeline-coronavirus/ (17 April 2020)

[3] Early Intervention to domestic abuse in Surrey, A cost-Benefit analysis – Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Domestic Abuse 2017 Report (September 2017)

[4] https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/6-10-britons-struggle-stay-positive-about-future-could-be-changed-vaccine (7 May 2020)

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