This Thursday was White Ribbon Day, where people around the world wear white ribbons to support a campaign to end violence against women. It is the beginning of 16 days of awareness raising and just the start of the conversation.
The article below talks about some of the work we are doing to support customers who are experiencing domestic abuse through our grants programme, but we know a lot more great work is being done by other teams within Paradigm too.
Grants programme awards £25,500 to domestic abuse charities
Did you know that an estimated 2.3 million adults aged 16 to 74 experienced domestic abuse in 2020 alone? (1.6m women and 757,000 men). (data from ONS)
If the national statistics of women experiencing domestic abuse are applied, it would suggest that approximately 2,500 of our customers may have experienced domestic abuse. However, it often goes unreported for fear of reprisals and homelessness.
During the first national lockdown last year, there was a steep rise in the number of domestic abuse cases reported, escalated by people having to spend more time isolated at home. In the first month of lockdown alone, Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, reported a staggering 49% increase in calls to its helpline, as well as a 700% increase in a single day. And, unfortunately, referrals to domestic abuse charities are still increasing; not only for physical abuse, but emotional, financial and children witnessing abuse too.
So what are we doing to help?
At the start of the Pandemic in 2020, the Paradigm grants programme (previously Paradigm Foundation) donated £5,000 to domestic abuse charities providing support in the communities we work in, but we want to do more.
We have awarded grants totalling £25,500 to domestic abuse charities in High Wycombe, Welwyn Hatfield, Aylesbury Vale, Milton Keynes and Luton, all areas where we have a high concentration of customers.
“We know that people living in social housing, are three times more likely to experience domestic abuse and that domestic abuse is also the largest cause of women and families to be made homeless. We want women and children living in our homes to be safe,” says Rachael Harper, Grants Manager.
“We want to help support the local domestic abuse charities in our areas with these grants. The money will be put towards community and outreach support provided by specialist support workers to help victims understand and navigate what options are available to them to be free of abuse. These charities provide vital support, and over the next few days we will be sharing more information on how to encourage and support our customers to come forward and seek help from these specialist and independent charities.”
Where to go for help
There is a 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247.
Your Paradigm Housing officer can also help – ring 0300 303 1010.
For more local support agencies, please click here.