COVID-19 - Solace Women's Aid

Location: UK

Solace Women’s Aid exists to end the harm done through Violence Against Women and Girls. Their aim is to work to prevent violence and abuse as well as providing services to meet the needs of survivors particularly women and girls. In March 2020, Solace launched an Emergency Appeal to ensure that no woman is forced to choose between Covid-19 and domestic abuse. NextEnergy Foundation has expanded the remit of its Mission during the Covid-19 pandemic to support Solace’s work at this critical time.

The focus of the Appeal is on providing accommodation, food and clothes for women and children fleeing from situations of domestic abuse; ensuring that there are sufficient crisis support workers to provide holistic support and advice; and, expanding the existing advice line to ensure that women have the opportunity to seek support even if their perpetrators are working from home.

Overall, the Appeal will address both the immediate and longer-term needs of women and children fleeing from domestic and sexual abuse. It will ensure that as many of the additional women who are expected to come forward post-lockdown as possible receive the help they require for the long-term. It will also support capacity-building (e.g. crisis support workers to provide wholistic support and advice) and new forms of temporary accommodation.

Project Update: NextEnergy Foundation has received a six-month report on the work achieved through the Emergency Appeal which the Foundation has supported. – 1. Provided bed spaces for 175 women and 78 children fleeing abuse;
2. Supported over 180 women financially to find temporary accommodation and buy basic food supplies;
3. Deployed additional crisis and well-being workers to support women and children in the refuges;
4. Deployed additional support workers to respond to the increase in calls to the organisation’s helpline;

Overall, 4951 adults and 561 children were supported by Solace Women’s Aid in the first 6 months of the pandemic. Although the challenge is not yet over, NextEnergy Foundation’s support was vital as a first line of response to the pandemic.