Sem Moema, Labour London Assembly Housing lead, visited a refuge in Islington to see how the service works and speak to residents about their experiences during the pandemic and the challenges they face now.
Sem Moema aims to shine a spotlight on women fleeing abuse during the pandemic. The refuge is one of 22 refuges run across London by Solace. The refuges provide safe accommodation where women and children receive practical and emotional support. Many women flee abuse with nothing and for many being locked in with their perpetrator during lockdown has been a living nightmare.
Sem Moema AM said:
“I visited a refuge to see first-hand the excellent work of Solace Women’s Aid and to learn how I can help further. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to take the step to leave your abuser, particularly at Christmas and in a time of such global fear and anxiety. I want these women to know they’ve not been forgotten.
Solace is the largest domestic abuse charity in London, supporting more than 23,000 women and girls each year as well as a small but increasing number of men. They say that they have seen calls to their advice line more than double since the start of the pandemic. “
Jane Jutsum, Director at Solace said:
“More than 300 women and children spent Christmas in one of our refuges, we do everything we can to make their stay as positive and supportive as possible, but the truth is that many women and children are starting 2022 in fear. At Solace we want all women to live lives, safe and free from abuse. Speaking out about abuse or leaving an abusive household is a brave and courageous step and we’re proud to be supporting women to claim their new lives. It’s vital work and we’re pleased that Sem Moema recognises the importance of helping women and families in crisis.”
To find out more about Solace’s work, please visit their website www.solacewomensaid.org.