We are all trying to adjust to a very different way of life due to the impact and threat of coronavirus. We at nia know that for many of the women, girls and children who use our services, this may involve being forced into a situation where they have to spend more time with the person or people who are abusing them and where there are additional pressures due to money, fear, boredom, loss of jobs, closure of schools, which can be used to make excuses for abuse. For some, feeling trapped and powerless, may remind them of and reawaken feelings they experienced as a response to sexual abuse. And of course, this is on top of all the worries and difficulties that all of us are dealing with.
We are working hard to make sure that we continue to provide specialist support to everyone we already work with, and anyone living in the areas that we operate in who needs us. We are providing support over the phone, by email or on-line platforms. We know that for some women and girls it will be more difficult to talk to us in private. We’re asking everyone that we work with to let us know if there are better ways that we can support them and making sure that our case workers talk about safety planning and any additional steps that we can take.
nia was set up to help women, girls and children escape from and cope with the impacts of violence and abuse, and to rebuild their lives afterwards. We know women and girls rely on us to support them through some of the most difficult things that they will ever face. We do not take that responsibility lightly and nia’s team of specialist workers are fully committed to do everything we can to be here in the coming weeks.
Karen Ingala Smith
- Women’s Aid – COVID-19/Coronavirus: Safety Advice for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Abuse
- Rape Crisis – Live Chat Helpline
- Women’s Aid – On-line chat
- Mind – Coronavirus and your well-being
- Sex-worker advocacy and resistance hardship fund
- Coronavirus health advice in 21 community languages