We are very excited to have recently chosen brilliant national charity Women’s Aid, as the Methods 2021 Charity of the Year, following a team vote. Women’s Aid exists to end domestic abuse and this work is now needed more than ever. COVID-19 does not cause domestic abuse and only abusers are responsible for their actions, but it is clear that the pandemic has escalated domestic abuse and closed down routes to safety for those experiencing abuse, and those for whom home is not a safe place.
When the country first went into lockdown in March 2020, Women’s Aid knew how this would impact domestic abuse survivors and the services which support them. The Women’s Aid report A Perfect Storm published in August presented the findings of surveys of survivors, which showed that the pandemic has worsened abuse. Women living with their abuser during lockdown experienced increased abuse and isolation. Of this group, 61% said the abuse had become worse, and more than two-thirds said they felt they had no one to turn to during lockdown.
Women’s Aid also found that abusers used the pandemic as a tool to increase control, fear and anxiety. Added to this, access to escape and support networks have been drastically restricted by lockdown measures. In April 2020, over three quarters of survivors living with their abuser told Women’s Aid that they felt they could not leave or get away because of the pandemic.
Women’s Aid offer various services to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse. They are a federation of over 170 organisations which provide just under 300 local lifesaving services to women and children across the country. Women’s Aid support services, which include the Live Chat Helpline and the Survivors’ Forum, help thousands of women and children every year. These online services have become increasingly important as women have sought discrete ways to reach out for help. One woman said “Live Chat meant I could type quietly on my phone rather than speaking on the phone, which is exactly what I needed”.
Alongside the support services, Women’s Aid campaigns achieve change in policy, practice and awareness, encouraging healthy relationships and helping to build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.
Methods’ first fundraising event for the charity will be held today on Monday 8th March 2021, which fittingly is International Women’s Day. We will be fundraising to sponsor over 100 live chats and we will be encouraging all our staff to donate for every time they use a live chat function during the working day. Our aim is to raise over £1,000. To donate click here. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/methodsforwomensaid
“We are proud to have chosen Women’s Aid as our Charity of the Year. We believe that every woman and child has a basic right to feel safe in their own home. We were staggered and appalled by the high rates of domestic abuse in the UK and want to play whatever small part we can to improve this position. We are keen to explore the many ways our skilled people across the Methods business may be able to help and support Women’s Aid; both by volunteering and fundraising. The Live chat function that the charity offer is a lifeline to so many women, so we have challenged ourselves to raise enough money on International Women’s Day to provide for 100 chats, knowing this will make sure a huge difference to those women who maybe trapped at home due to the pandemic.”
Zoe Lewis, Head of Social Value for Methods
“We are delighted to have been chosen as Methods’ Charity of the Year and are excited to have them as part of the movement towards a society where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated. Thank you for thinking of survivors this International Women’s Day, and beyond. We look forward to working with you, and seeing what fantastic things you are able to achieve this year!”
Faye Connelly, Fundraising Manager at Women’s Aid
For more information visit: https://www.womensaid.org.uk
Where to go for support: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support
What to do if you’re worried about someone else: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/im-worried-about-someone-else
Find a local domestic abuse service: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory