Leeds charity fears domestic violence cases likely to rise during Coronavirus lockdown

The Leeds Women's Aid charity is warning there is likely to be a rise in cases of domestic violence and abuse as couples are forced to isolate together during the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Mark Lavery
Thursday, 26th March 2020, 2:46 pm
Photo by Dominic Lipinski 
Copyright: PA Wire/PA images
Photo by Dominic Lipinski Copyright: PA Wire/PA images

The charity is concerned the lockdown will put people at risk and is asking residents to check on those that could be in danger and for those that are, to get in touch.

It is also appealing for donors to continue to support the organisation, which has had to scale back fundraising efforts and close its shop as a result of the pandemic.

Every year Leeds Women's Aid supports thousands of women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse through a range of specialist services including emergency refuge accommodation.

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It is receiving fewer donations of essential items and supporters have had to cancel fundraising events and activities.

Leeds Women's Aid is hoping to raise £2,000 to buy essential items such as basic food and toiletries for the women and families living in its refuges.

Nik Peasgood, chief executive officer of Leeds Women’s Aid, said “This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, and as a charity we are particularly worried about the safety of people who may be being forced to isolate with their abuser.

"As a small organisation, our main priority is to ensure we can continue to deliver the vital services to help women and children in danger, as well as ensuring the families in our care are as safe as possible.

"If you are at risk, or know someone who is, please get in touch and speak to one of our team who will be able to help you.

“We are also appealing to the people of Leeds to support us if they can by donating online, holding a virtual fundraiser or supporting us in any other way.

The Leeds Women’s Aid shop, on New Road Side in Horsforth - one of the most important revenue streams for the charity - will not be taking collections until further notice.

Ms Peasgood said a donation of just £5 can provide a woman with basic toiletries when she arrives at refuge, £25 can provide a family in refuge with towels and bedding and £50 provides a family with a weekly food parcel, as well as supporting the charity to continue to provide services such as its emergency refuge accommodation and 24/7 telephone helpline for those in need.

For support, visit https://leedswomensaid.co.uk/ or call confidentially on the 24 hour LDVS helpline 0113 246 0401.

To donate to Leeds Women’s Aid and help it continue to support women and children in need, visit www.localgiving.org/appeal/lwacovid19appeal/ and follow online at https://twitter.com/leedswomensaid.