Extra support announced for local domestic abuse service
West Mercia Women’s Aid online chat service is set to extend its opening hours after a grant of £5,750 from Telford & Wrekin Council.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, social distancing measures may be used as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour by perpetrators, as they attempt to shut down victim’s routes to safety and support.
The online chat service gives people experiencing domestic abuse a silent way to reach out for help.
Thanks to additional funding – the online chat will be available 12 hours a day Monday to Friday between 9am and 9pm from the May 1.
West Mercia Women’s Aid online chat service can be accessed on their website: http://www.westmerciawomensaid.org/
People experiencing domestic abuse can still call West Mercia Women’s Aid 24/7 Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is operating as usual: 0800 7831359.
Cllr Rae Evans, cabinet lead for the prevention of domestic abuse, said: “We are expecting to see a rise in the number of people experiencing domestic abuse during this pandemic.
“Reaching out for help can be incredibly difficult normally, but during a pandemic where we are asking people to stay at home it will be even harder.
“By helping to fund this online chat service we are increasing the ways that people can reach out for help.”
Sue Coleman, Chief Executive of West Mercia Womens Aid, said: “Our trained and experienced support staff are a vital life-line for survivors and now they’re just a click away.
“We need those living with abuse to know that they are not alone. Trust your instincts and seek help – either by calling our Helpline if it is safe to do so, or by using LiveChat – just go to our website and click. It’s easy to use when you have a little privacy – in the bathroom or the bedroom, maybe. Women’s Aid are still here to help.”
Local support in Telford and Wrekin is also available through the Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service, call 0300 303 1191 or email email@example.com.