A Salford domestic abuse charity has made a public appeal for donations as they see demand increase amid the coronavirus lock-down.
Salford Survivors, who mainly rely on public donations, reported a 400% increase in the number of calls to their helpline since the lockdown began.
The Salford domestic abuse charity has helped four walkouts from abusive households but they say they need more funds to do their job effectively.
Charity founder, Jane Gregory said: “We’ve had calls from outside of Salford, too, in Bolton, Wigan, Tameside, and Trafford”
“Because of the demand, we’re in a situation where we might have to turn people away. It’s a situation I’m going to make sure we’re never in again, but It frightens me.”
“Money for transport and provisions for families in need is coming out of our own pocket. We can’t do our job without the emergency funds.”
The charity is run by 25 volunteers who are currently working from home, offering advice by email and over the phone.
Please share we are desperate for funds. https://t.co/TVgREQ4XkO
— Salford Survivor (@ProjectSSP) April 23, 2020
“There are people who are in an abusive relationship and are locked-down with that person 24/7.
“We’re also getting calls from people who are living on their own and are getting flashbacks of abuse from the past”, said Gregory
Manchester Women’s Aid insisted that whilst calls to some charities may be up, this should not stop people from seeking help.
Operations Manager, Christie Webster said: “Anyone who is in need of help or advice should not shy away from seeking help from their Local domestic abuse agencies.
“You can still access support; you can still get in touch with your GP and talk to them and you can get in touch with us and we will get back to you.
“If you are in an abusive relationship you are not lost or forgotten about, that is not the case.”
Increased cases of domestic abuse amid the lock-down has been a national concern as local governments try to find solutions.
Salford City Council has said that before the lockdown they anticipated a rise in the need for support.
Cllr David Lancaster said: “Across Greater Manchester, mainstream services have not seen a substantial increase in reports.
“However, we are continuing to remind people that help is available and urge them to get in touch if they need to.
“We are also running a campaign using outdoor advertising across the city to highlight the many forms domestic abuse can take.”
If you're suffering domestic abuse and need someone to talk to help is available 24/7 despite #COVID19. Call the National Domestic Abuse helpline free on 0808 2000 247 or see https://t.co/SlqJVohB57 for details of organisations which can help. Please RT and share this message. pic.twitter.com/dLF5JRJ7Ox
— Salford City Council (@SalfordCouncil) April 14, 2020
The lead member for environment and community safety added that SIDASS will be extending its helpline hours to run six hours every day.
The Salford Independent Domestic Abuse Support Service is commissioned by the council and offers support to men and women experiencing domestic abuse.
Cllr Lancaster added: “It’s not just physical abuse but psychological as well.
“This can involve controlling behaviour, cutting people off from family and friends and constant criticism to undermine people’s confidence.
“It can happen to people of any age and background.
“Despite the stay at home message, if home is not safe and people need to escape or if they just need someone to listen, understand and believe what they are going through and help them decide what to do next, that help is there. Please just reach out.”
You can support Salford Survivors Project by donating on their Just Giving page.
Information on organisations offering help and support can be accessed by visiting the council website.
You can also find help at the Manchester Women’s Aid website or you can call the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse helpline on 01616367525.
If you are in need of support call the free National Domestic Abuse helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0808 200 0247. If you are in immediate danger call 999.