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Coronavirus sees domestic abuse calls double for King's Lynn charity



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A Lynn-based domestic abuse charity is raising awareness of a worldwide campaign during the challenging lockdown period.

The Pandora Project will be sharing content on social media as part of the White Ribbon Campaign, which is a global effort to end male violence against women.

This takes place on November 25 and comes at a time when the charity is expecting a huge demand in service following the first national lockdown.

White Ribbon Day takes place on November 25 as Pandora Project raises awareness of domestic abuse. Picture: SUBMITTED
White Ribbon Day takes place on November 25 as Pandora Project raises awareness of domestic abuse. Picture: SUBMITTED

Service manager Tracy Mahoney explained: “It’s been a really strange period for us. When the first lockdown hit referrals stopped.

“It was really quiet for six to eight weeks due to people not being able to contact us, being on furlough and various other things.

“However after that period, the referrals suddenly came at us thick and fast. It has been double the amount of referrals than this time last year.”

The charity has recently been dealing with a high number of women who have been facing abuse in long-term relationships.

Mrs Mahoney said this is “quite unusual” but the underlying issues had been exacerbated and reached “boiling point” during the first lockdown.

As part of the White Ribbon campaign leading up to November 25, the charity is asking people to share the #NoExcuseForAbuse message and displaying a white ribbon on their social media pages.

Due to the coronavirus, the charity will not be able to sell the white ribbons for the occasion this year.

Mrs Mahoney said: “It’s really difficult for women still living with perpetrators. Some clients really have to be careful over when it is safe for us to contact them during lockdown.

“Some said it was hell on earth last time being closely watched and they could not get away.”

The charity has been made aware of a phone app which partners can download onto the woman’s phone to monitor any calls and messages being sent.

Mrs Mahoney, who founded the charity in 2013, added: “A lot of people still do not understand domestic abuse and think it is just physical.

“Around 85 per cent of clients suffer emotional abuse, not physical. There are a lot of mind games and domestic abuse can absolutely devastate families.”

Pandora Project is available 9-5 Monday to Friday, and there is a 24 hours National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is 0808 2000 247.

In June alone, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline saw an increase of 77 per cent in calls.

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk. The Pandora Project website can be found at https://www.pandoraproject.org.uk/



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