HESTIA SAFE SPACE UK SAYS NO MORE TO DOMESTIC ABUSE
NEW FUNDING WILL HELP SAFE SPACES REACH OVER 200,000 PEOPLE EXPERIENCING DOMESTIC ABUSE.
Hestia is a charity that supports over 15,000 adults and children each year across London and the South East to build a life beyond crisis, including victims of domestic abuse, survivors of modern slavery, and people with severe mental ill health. It is one of the largest providers of domestic abuse support in London, with over 15 years of experience.
The national campaign UK SAYS NO MORE raises awareness and brings together individuals, charities, businesses and public sector organizations to work together towards ending domestic abuse and sexual violence.
"Right now there are victims of domestic abuse that don’t know where to go or are trapped at home with their abuser. Safe Spaces was born in the midst of lockdown as a bridge for victims to specialist support, but it has the potential to support thousands more victims to safety in the future. With the generous support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery we can now expand this vital initiative, enabling communities to be play a critical role in tackling domestic abuse.”-Sue Harper, Head of Domestic Abuse Prevention at Hestia.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on victims of domestic abuse, with the number of cases escalating and support networks cut off overnight. Hestia has seen a 30 per cent increase in demand for support.
“Safe Spaces has saved my life. I had been experiencing coercive control for 5 years of a 10-year relationship. During lockdown, I was shielding, and the abuse escalated to aggression and violence, making me fear for my life. When I saw that independent pharmacies were offering Safe Spaces, I scrolled through the list with my heart in my mouth and found that my local village pharmacy was listed. Over the weeks I used the Safe Space, I developed a plan to get the abuser out of my home. I am now beginning to feel safe in my home again, but without this support, things could have been very different and far, far worse.”- Said a survivor of domestic abuse who used a Safe Space.
Currently, people living with domestic abuse can access over 5,300 Safe Spaces in pharmacies nationwide as well as accessing Online Safe Spaces on many websites. The new funding will allow Safe Spaces to extend to other high street businesses and online, to build a long-lasting infrastructure of support for victims of domestic abuse.
“Hestia’s Safe Spaces initiative is a great example of a charity that is addressing the demand which has escalated during the pandemic. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the charity received the funds to create additional safe spaces for those needing help. Thanks to this funding, more support will be available in our communities and on our high streets, bringing benefits well beyond the pandemic.”- Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery.