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Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Great Northern, is supporting an initiative to help domestic abuse victims



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Free train travel for victims of domestic abuse is being offered by the rail operator whose services includes Great Northern which serves Lynn.

Govia Thameslink Railway is supporting an extended nationwide initiative to help victims reach refuge accommodation.

Govia's chief operating officer Steve White said: "With the numbers of survivors of domestic abuse soaring during the pandemic, charities are expecting a surge in people trying to escape to a refuge when lockdown restrictions relax.

Train companies are extending free train travel for survivors of domestic abuse until the end of March next year. (43275339)
Train companies are extending free train travel for survivors of domestic abuse until the end of March next year. (43275339)

"Abusers frequently withhold money, which is why the free train travel we offer as an industry is so vitally important for the hundreds of victims making use of this scheme."

Rail to refuge is a joint initiative between rail companies and Women’s Aid in which train operators cover the cost of train tickets for women, men and children travelling to refuge accommodation. Since April, train operators have provided free tickets to 836 people, including 210 children.

All train operators joined the Rail to refuge scheme on April 9,with the original plan to keep it in place for approximately 12 weeks or for the duration of lockdown.

However, with refuges expecting a spike in demand after the current national restrictions are eased, the scheme is now being extended for the rest of the financial year until the end of March 2021.

Survivors can access the tickets through the member services of Women’s Aid Federation of England, including Respect, which runs the Men's Advice line, once they have received an offer of a refuge place.

More information is and support is available by visiting: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/

Male victims of domestic abuse can call the Respect Men’s Advice Line on 0808 8010327 or visit: www.mensadviceline.org.uk



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