Ahead of International Womens Day (March 8th) Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service (CarmDAS) have released statistics to highlight that they’ve supported over 400 women and children in Carmarthen and the surrounding areas over the last year, a 20% increase on the previous year. CarmsDAS has responded to the challenges of Covid-19 by adapting and changing the way they work and offer support which has enabled more survivors of domestic abuse to access support virtually in a safe and secure way.

Commenting on the figures, Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service (CarmDAS) Chief Executive Vicky Friis said:

“The lockdown restrictions over the past year has resulted in an increase in domestic abuses cases in Carmarthen as elsewhere and an increase need for our support services. We have continued to provide our support in the community and in our refuge locally, and over the past year have supported 270 women and 139 children and young people through our community services, and supported 19 families in our refuge.

The restrictions in place have had a real and severe impact on those subjected to domestic abuse. Not only do we know that the incidence of domestic abuse have increased over the last year, the stay home restrictions have presented real and major challenges for many subjected to domestic abuse to be able to physically leaving home and seek help. I would like to reassure all those subjected to abuse that help is available, through CarmDAS and the Live Fear Free helpline 0808 80 10 800."

International Women’s Day is a global day to reflect and raise awareness of Women’s equality, and an opportunity to focus on the need to support female survivors of domestic abuse,

Vicky Friis added:

“Domestic Abuse is a gendered crime. ONS statistics show that almost one in three women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime[1], and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone.[2]

We know that many of those subject to domestic abuse don’t seek help, and many do not identify as being victims. As we approach the third month of this current lockdown, it is important, now more than ever that we look out for our neighbours, friends and family members and seek help if necessary. We are here to provide support, advice and help to all that need it.”

A domestic abuser survivor, who has sought support from Carm DAS said:

“Leaving and rebuilding your life is probably the hardest thing you will ever do but you can do it and it is the only way to improve your situation for yourself and possibly your children. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.”