Can you help local women and children spending this Christmas in a refuge after fleeing domestic abuse?
For women leaving a domestic abuse situation, packing their children’s favourite comforters, toys, clothing and toiletries – let alone a Christmas gift – is often the last thing on their minds. Faced with homelessness, women and children will seek a safe space at a local refuge, often bringing only the clothes they are wearing with them. Hertfordshire-based legal support service, the Domestic Abuse Alliance, has set up an online gift list, containing many of the essential items that women and children escaping domestic abuse may find themselves without this Christmas.
Razi Hassan, Director of Partnerships at the Domestic Abuse Alliance said: “Police forces typically report a spike in domestic abuse incidents during the Christmas period as families tend to spend more time together. Police recorded crime data shows an increase in offences flagged as domestic abuse-related during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when it has also been much harder for those experiencing abuse to seek help and leave their tormenters.
“We work with a number of local domestic abuse support services, providing legal assistance and protection for victims, so we hear first-hand the struggles families face when they do manage to escape, particularly at Christmas.
“The reality is that women and children will often arrive at a refuge with no personal belongings. This is because they may see a fleeting chance to leave their abusive situation, and they take it, without having a chance to pack anything. “That’s why we have set up an Amazon Wish List, meaning you can personally buy a present that will be delivered to a local women’s centre or refuge before December 25. You can choose from a long list of essential items and gifts for babies, women and children. We really hope that residents will join us and take this opportunity to #GiveaGift and spread a little cheer for those who need it most in Hertfordshire this Christmas.”