Home is meant to be a place of comfort and safety, but for many women and children affected by domestic abuse this isn’t the case. This year, whilst much of the world was instructed to stay at home, for thousands of women in Northern Ireland this was the last thing they wanted to do. Sadly, during lockdown police responded to over 8,000 incidents of domestic abuse from April to June.
It’s difficult to leave an abusive relationship, even more so when there are children and 2020 has only compounded this with many women feeling they are unable to escape due to lockdown. With social distancing it has become challenging to access the support they need and now more than ever, many women are finding themselves with increased financial burdens and emotional stress. Women’s Aid is the leading organisation in Northern Ireland addressing domestic and sexual violence with 9 local groups providing services for women and children. You can find information about support available in your area at www.womensaidni.org
Each Christmas, Women’s Aid receives donations from across the country that they distribute to the women and children accessing services and support. This year it is very uncertain what level of help they will receive due to the pandemic and depleted resources. Mayfair & Morgan Estate Agents each year support a local charity at Christmas and this year we are raising funds for Women’s Aid. Our aim is to make Christmas Eve Boxes for women and deliver them in the run up to Christmas. This may be the only gift many of these women will receive this year, so we want to show them that they are not alone and there are people in our community who care.
Since launching the fundraiser, we have been overwhelmed by the response and have even had a donation all the way from Philadelphia, USA! Drop off locations had been organised across the country but unfortunately with the newest restrictions, we can no longer have the option for the community to donate items in person. So, for those who would like to help Women’s Aid, we have created an Amazon list that you can use and have items delivered to the Mayfair & Morgan offi ce. You have the option to donate online via JustGiving and if restrictions change then we will reopen our drop off points. So, let’s all be part of the reason another woman smiles this Christmas.
We want women to know they are not alone, help is available. If you are affected by domestic abuse you can call Women’s Aid on 0808 8021414. To keep up to date with our efforts go to our Mayfair & Morgan Facebook page.