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News

16 March, 2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update

This page was last updated on 1 July 2020

In light of the current and developing situation with Coronavirus, violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) services are taking action to continue to provide the lifesaving and lifechanging support to those who need it in Wales as well as protecting survivors and staff within their services.

Support

The Live Fear Free helpline services will continue to provide advice, support and referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on:

The helpline is available for anyone impacted by violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence or anyone concerned about someone else. Please let others know that it remains available during this period so anyone that needs it knows that support remains available to them regardless of Covid-19 restrictions. Be aware self-isolating and social distancing could have particular impacts for survivors of abuse.

Our membership of independent specialist services are taking specific precautions relevant to their services to respond to Covid-19. Some services have moved to online or telephone contact. Refuge and safe accommodation provision remains available in across Wales and can be accessed through the Live Fear Free helpline and local services. To contact your local service to see if there has been a change of service and if this might affect you please click here.

We have published support information for survivors, including children:

The following information may be useful on the needs of specialist services at this time:

Guidance

We are following closely the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales latest advice as well as UK Government advice. We recommend checking the following sites regularly to ensure you are up to date with the current situation and guidance:

Family Court and Child Contact arrangements

Welsh Government Guidance relevant to VAWDASV Sector

Public Health Wales updates relevant to VAWDASV Sector

UK Government and non-devolved bodies guidance

Funding/Fundraising

Lastly, we are calling on funders to take a sympathetic approach to services at this time. We ask for any competitive tendering processes to be suspended, KPI reporting to be flexible and allowances made for services on deadlines and ensure VAWDASV services receive emergency funding to adapt provision and meet survivor needs. Specialist services need support to cope with the demand and keep women and children safe at a time of potential skeletal staff and heightened isolation for survivors. Services will need resources at this time to improve communication support channels and maintain staffing levels during increased sickness absence.  They will need funds that enable services to have more flexibility on how they support and how they can support their staff to work from home/self-isolate and/or provide care for their relatives.

Similarly a reminder that both nationally and locally, VAWDASV services rely on fundraising activities to support their work. We have already had to cancel fundraising events due to Coronavirus, these funds will be greatly missed as they support us to continue to work towards ending VAWDASV in Wales. If you are looking to do something positive during this time, it may be an idea to donate to us and your local VAWDASV service.

"Structural inequalities that are experienced by women with intersecting experiences of racism and homophobia exacerbate the experience of domestic abuse and can create barriers for them to access support within their communities" @GwendolynSterk on @964thewave #16Days #16Dyddiau twitter.com/journohannah/s…

About 8 hours ago from WelshWomensAid's Twitter