Domestic abuse charity Hestia have committed to 24 additional emergency refuge beds to help victims.
The cost of living crisis is already leading to an increase in domestic abuse cases and demand for refuge spaces. That is according Hestia, who have seen a 30 per cent increase in demand for domestic abuse refuge spaces and support in the first quarter of 2022.
Hestia, who support thousands of women and children and are one of the largest providers of refuges in London, say families are also having to stay in refuges for longer as the cost of rehoming them rockets due to price rises. New analysis carried out by Loughborough University has found that the cost of rehoming a single mum with two children , is now £5,000 more than it was two years ago .
Pat Ryan, Chief Executive of Hestia said:
“The cost-of-living crisis is having a detrimental impact on those experiencing domestic abuse. Families are coming under significant strain. We need to act quickly, and we need to act now.
“During the pandemic, Hestia opened 24 additional emergency refuge beds. We will do everything we can to keep this refuge open as we see the need for refuge places rise. This is only possible with the help of our generous supporters who enable us to support families to get to safety and recover from the trauma of domestic abuse.”
The charity say the poverty crisis is the biggest contributor to the increase in demand for refuge spaces. Rohana* who fled her abusive partner with her son and has now found accommodation says it’s very hard to manage day-to-day:
“Sometimes I think ‘Why did I call the police?’ because at least my son was being provided for and we had food. Now we have nothing. But then I think at least we are safe and that’s worth a
lot. But it’s very hard. I only eat one meal a day – everything goes on my son. The system is not working for victims of domestic abuse and it’s only going to get harder. I’m exhausted and I’m dreading the next lot of gas and electricity bills.”
Hestia are now appealing for donations to help them provide support to victims of domestic abuse in the year ahead. Donate here: https://www.hestia.org/Appeal/cost-of-living-crisis
Image credit: Hestia