Chelsea FC have joined up with UK charity Refuge to raise awareness and valuable funds to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Last year 1.6 million women in the UK suffered from domestic abuse. Reports from around the world show that the Covid-19 global pandemic has led to increases in domestic abuse incidents due to the periods of isolation and lock down.
Self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours by perpetrators and can make it more challenging for women to report and seek support.
Experts are warning that the coronavirus outbreak will lead to a “domestic abuse pandemic”.
To support Refuge’s life-changing and life-saving work and help raise awareness and funds, Chelsea FC Women’s manager Emma Hayes along with players from our women’s and men’s team have taken part in a digital campaign to ensure those in need of support know they are not alone and to raise funds for Refuge, with Chelsea promising to match all donations received in the next six-week period.
Hayes said: ‘I am proud to lead the club’s support of this worthy cause during such a difficult time for so many.
‘There are many things for people to deal with in the present climate but it is important we support the vulnerable and those who may feel alone or without a voice.
‘I hope this campaign can do that and make a difference to those who need support.’
Men’s captain Cesar Azpilicueta added: ‘‘Domestic violence is such a serious issue in society and we must double our efforts to look after those in danger during this ongoing pandemic.
I am so proud of my club for supporting Refuge in their vital work protecting vulnerable women and children.’
Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge says: ‘Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country. Almost one in three women experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes and two women are killed in England and Wales every week.
‘This is a life and death issue. Now, more than ever, Refuge needs to reach women and their children who are in need of its services. We want women across the country today to know that Refuge is there to support them around the clock – they are not alone.
‘Thanks to Chelsea FC and its supporters we hope to raise much needed funds and reach many more women experiencing abuse. Together we can save and change lives.’
Refuge provides a national network of specialist services which support around 6,500 women and children every day, including emergency accommodation, community outreach, independent domestic violence advocacy (IDVAs), culturally specific services and a team of child support workers.
Refuge also runs the Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, 0808 2000 247, which receives over 270 calls and contacts every day. www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk provides additional support information and an online form where women can request a safe time to be called back. This online method of accessing support is especially important now when telephoning for help may be more difficult.
Women can also receive automated guidance via Refuge’s techbot on how to secure their devices https://www.refuge.org.uk/our-work/our-services/tech-abuse-empowerment-service/
To donate to the campaign please clickdonate.refuge.org.uk/Chelsea
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