During these times, we have made some changes to the way we work and support women and their children – but we are still open and will remain so.
The women we work with are now mostly being supported by phone, however face-to-face appointments are still occurring when necessary. Additionally, whenever we can we are using taxi vouchers to transport women and their children and have started dropping off grocery vouchers to women’s letterboxes. Our outreach at the Liverpool Women’s Health Centre is also being conducted via phone where possible.
We have implemented a few changes in the office and in the refuge with increased cleaning and more regular wiping down of frequently used surfaces. We also have masks available for whoever would like to use them.
We have reduced the number of people working in the office and are being mindful of physical distancing. We have two small teams of staff working from home part-time and another small team working in the office full-time. We are holding our staff meetings via zoom (which at times has its own challenges!). And we have cancelled our face-to-face groups but still have specialised support for women and children from the Department of Communities and Justice and Women’s Legal Service.
Our Oz Harvest weekly food boxes are still available (thankfully!), however we are now preparing the boxes beforehand and only one person at a time is allowed to collect the box. We have also increased the financial support we offer to our clients to reflect additional expenses incurred at this time.
We expect to see an increase in women and children needing assistance, especially as the pandemic drags on and people have lost their jobs. Being stuck at home, feeling isolated and being financially stressed can be a particularly dangerous time for women experiencing domestic violence. It makes for a perfect storm.
Once again, we are still here – we are essential and will continue to be here for women and their children.
Written by Sue