“I was at home with him, we were both listening to Boris Johnson [announce lockdown], and he looked over at me, he had his arms folded back and chest out, cos he knew that would intimidate me; he looked at me and he said: ‘let the games begin’.”
If ever I need reminding of how bleak 2020 has been for some, the quote above taken from the Guardian provides that prompt. The woman in the article is one victim, amongst many, who’ve been forced to spend an increased amount of time in the company of an abusive partner or family member during lockdown.
Hestia, a London based organisation who offer support for victims of domestic abuse, modern day slavery and those suffering addictions, reported a 38% increase in the number of emergency calls relating to abuse at home. Their app ‘Bright Sky’ which offers vulnerable persons support was used a total of 67,685 times during lockdown. Furthermore, 1 in 4 UK pharmacies now offer ‘safe-spaces’ within their consultation rooms to support those in distress.
Of course, lockdown wasn’t exclusive to London and the UK; news outlets and organisations reported a global trend of cases of abuse and those seeking support. We in the UK weren’t alone in making noise out of our windows during the Spring. In the West Bank, women banged pots and pans out of windows to protest the alarming rise in abuse against women. Banging the pot also signified a place where victims of domestic violence could find safety when in need.
Seeing reports about the rise in abuse is no doubt disturbing; but reading stories of those who’ve escaped violence at home with the help of local charities and community support is a reassurance.
This is why we're including Lux Luz's candles in our Self Care Box, helping those suffering from domestic abuse. We put forward four questions to Anna and Sophie, the co-owners of Lux Luz, on domestic abuse. Watch to find out more about their work.
Visit their website here to find out more.