Thousands of women experiencing domestic abuse will be able to gain help and support from Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, thanks to a £200,000 grant from Freemasons, including those in Lincolnshire.
The grant will support the Helpline, at the heart of a strategic, co-ordinated response to domestic abuse. The service is run by the charity Refuge, delivered by a team of specialist staff and trained volunteers.
Women experiencing domestic abuse, as well as friends, family and professionals supporting them can contact Refuge’s expert team in several ways:
• on their freephone number 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
• via their secure webform email
• through their online live chat
• with video calls for users of British Sign Language with qualified interpreters.
The Helpline records over 13,000 calls and contacts on its database per month. Women can also find information and support on Refuges’ Helpline website www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
The charity aims to reduce the harm caused by domestic abuse by providing callers with information about their rights and options, as well as supporting them to leave their abusers safely if and when they are ready.
The Helpline team provides a confidential and non-judgmental service, which supports women in both heterosexual and same sex relationships. They deliver emotional and practical help to women as they begin rebuilding their lives following abuse.
Lincolnshire Freemasons have contributed to the grant, from the Freemason’s charity the MCF which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Lucy Snow, Senior Transformation Manager at Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for their generous grant, which is needed now more than ever.
“Our message to women across the country is clear. You are not alone. We will listen, we will believe you, and we can support you to plan your next steps. We are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Dave Wheeler, Lincolnshire Freemason’s Provincial Grand Master, said: “Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which does a hugely important job being there for the one in four women who experience domestic abuse. Whether it’s providing practical information or emotional support, the Helpline is a lifeline for many thousands of women every year, and I’m very proud that Freemasons are supporting this essential service.”