In December 2022, a young pregnant client attended our Blackburn office for routine appointment with one of our solicitors. Having been in contact with this client for a number of months, it became evident she was suffering regularly from abuse and had come to the decision something had to change. Having discussed all options available to her, she took the brave decision to leave her abusive partner. With nothing but the clothes on her back, she entered a refuge directly from the office and this had us thinking about how anyone could cope leaving their home and life with nothing. She didn’t even have a coat, phone charger, or toothbrush.
Up stepped Trainee Solicitor Carrie Hyde –
This not being the first client to have made this decision, I thought it best that we have a small emergency box for any future clients in this predicament. A toothbrush, tampons, nail file, anything just to make that move ever so slightly less stressful. Watson Ramsbottom is delighted to have a fantastic relationship with many North West Refuges and Domestic Abuse support services, that we do see a difference that they make to the safety and wellbeing of the victims of domestic abuse. Most are run by committed support staff and rely so heavily on charity donations and local support and all help is appreciated. To take away the additional costs of a new hairbrush and flannel, means that funds can further go into ensuring that the women and girls are support indefinitely.
I was delighted to see the whole team at Watson Ramsbottom pull together after my request for donations of this kind. Teams from offices far and wide sent donations meaning that we instantly had stock to prepare a number of emergency refuge boxes.
With further donations, we were able to prepare a little box for a recently admitted resident of a local refuge, and this was sent to her. On receipt she was overwhelmed with the thought and support that had gone into this, outside of our usual legal support. She confirmed that when she had contacted the police about recent incidents of domestic abuse and they had not taken any further action, she was seriously worried that people were not taking her reports seriously, but that this act had proven to her that we were listening.
Domestic Abuse is something that continues to be echoed within the news but still something that we fight to be heard on a daily basis. We can ease the pain caused by this and support the brave move to flee an abusive relationship, and show that we really have Got Your Back.
If anyone was in doubt about the scale of domestic abuse as an ongoing issue, We have set out below some statistics (Refuge 2022);
- The police receive a domestic abuse-related call every 30 seconds.
- 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime.
- 2 women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales.
- It takes, on average, 7 attempts before a woman is able to leave for good.
Refuge (2022) https://refuge.org.uk/what-is-domestic-abuse/the-facts/
Carrie is continuing to collect donations as victims continue to require the support of our local refuges. All donations are welcome at any of our offices, for more information, please contact Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org