This festive season, Welsh Women’s Aid want survivors and their loved ones to know that help and support are available whenever they need it.
With a lockdown brought in across Wales at midnight on December 20th, there will be less opportunities to meet with friends and family this Christmas and the amount of time spent at home will be increased. For survivors, this could mean an increased risk if they are not able to meet with their support networks and are forced to spend more time at home with people they are fearful of.
During these times of changing and challenging circumstances, Welsh Women’s Aid would like to stress that help and support is available, 24/7, for all survivors who need it. This includes Christmas day and New Year’s day.
The Welsh Government funded Live Fear Free helpline will continue to operate as normal, offering support 24/7, to survivors and those who are concerned about another individual. Web chat and text services are also available, for those who are not able to access a safe space to call. The helpline offers support to women, men and children of all ages. All correspondence will be responded to by a trained and compassionate team ready to listen, believe and support anyone making contact, confidentially. Using interpreters, helpline staff are able to communicate in the language the caller feels most comfortable in using.
Live Fear Free not only offers support to survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence but to concerned family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and community members who might be concerned about someone else.
Sara Kirkpatrick, CEO of Welsh Women’s Aid said: “We know that the lockdown which was brought in by Welsh Government last weekend, though necessary to protect lives, will be extremely difficult for many survivors across the country. This festive season, it is perhaps more important than ever to check in on loved ones when it is possible to do so safely and to contact the Live Fear Free helpline for support if you are concerned about someone you know. The Helpline is able to signpost to specialist support services for all individuals, regardless of gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity or migration status- reach out if you need support, you are not alone.
As with previous lockdowns, no one is expected to stay in an unsafe home- if you need to leave your home because of the threat of violence or abuse you will not get into trouble for doing so. Survivors can still access specialist support and enter refuges. As always, if you are in immediate danger, please call the police on 999.”
Welsh Women’s Aid also want to emphasise the importance of communities across Wales checking in with loved ones and standing in solidarity with survivors throughout this lockdown. The Covid-19 Bystander toolkit-recognised by the World Health Organisation- has resources for communities to support survivors safely and effectively.
The Welsh Government funded Live Fear Free helpline is available 24/7, offering free confidential support and advice to survivors and concerned others.
Call: 0808 80 10 800
Text: 078600 77333
You can keep up with the latest Welsh Women’s Aid updates and advice by following us on social media.
For more information, please contact Welsh Women’s Aid Media and External Relations Officer
Sophie Weeks on: [email protected]