For the past two years, Paycare has sponsored a live chat which was launched by The Haven Wolverhampton, to ensure women and children at risk of domestic abuse were able to contact them discreetly and securely.
The charity already ran a 24-hour helpline and added the live chat facility to their website in 2018, so people could log on to directly reach out to the charity rather than being signposted through the police or other agencies – and this plan worked. In the first year, there were 13 times the number of self-referrals than agency referrals.
Sadly, the amount of people needing The Haven’s services has increased during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown…
During the first few weeks of lockdown, The Haven saw a 60% increase in website visits. The wider picture was 400 arrests made by West Midlands Police for domestic abuse related incidents over two weeks, and 16 women and children’s lives sadly lost in suspected domestic abuse killings in the first three weeks of lockdown. This was the largest number of killings over a three-week period for a decade.
While these figures are beyond sad, they show the importance of the live chat – and the other incredible work The Haven team undertake. We hope by helping them raising awareness, even more women and children who may otherwise feel they have nowhere to turn for help will know there is confidential online support available to them.
Jade Secker, Fundraising Manager at The Haven Wolverhampton, explains why their helpline and live chat are so important:
“For many people in abusive relationships, their partner may check their phone calls or texts and their ability to speak to someone about the issues they’re facing can be very restricted, so being able to offer a vital channel of communication to the outside world – particularly during a lockdown when options are limited even further – is very important for us as a charity.
“Women in dire need of support can use the service discreetly and receive responses quickly which is crucial in many situations. Our dedicated live chat service is kindly sponsored by our long-term partners, Paycare, which has essentially given us the funding to help so many more vulnerable women and children in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas to feel empowered to reach out.”
Paycare’s Marketing Manager, Anna Bamford, has added how the team are delighted to support the live chat feature having built a strong relationship with The Haven Wolverhampton over the years…
“The live chat was already proving hugely important to so many people in the region, helping users escape the ties of a toxic relationship. But the latest figures show it’s even more essential that services like these are available during the turbulent times we are facing through the global Covid-19 crisis. We hope by raising awareness, even more women and children who may otherwise feel they have nowhere to turn for help will know there is confidential online support available to them.”
Wow – we are so proud to support such an important charity. The work The Haven do is incredible, and the community are so lucky to have access to this kind of support… keep up the incredible work guys! 🙌🧡
The Haven supports women and dependent children at risk from domestic violence, homelessness and abuse. Their helpline is 24/7 and is free from a landline – 08000 194 400. The live chat is available from 9am to 5pm every weekday, and those in need can visit https://www.havenrefuge.org.uk/ for access.