LOCKDOWN is a difficult time for many, including those in abusive relationships – but help is at hand.
Kaleidoscopic UK, a Finchampstead-based domestic violence charity, has seen demand for its services skyrocket as England moved under new coronavirus restrictions.
“Lockdown is an accelerant,” Vickie Robertson, founder of Kaleidoscopic UK, said. “It’s the worst time for most people because it gives abusers the ultimate power and control at home.
“We’ve had an increase in demand, definitely. It’s a busy time for everybody in the services, but the support will always be there.”
However, despite the new lockdown restrictions, Kaleidoscopic UK is able to continue some of its face-to-face work with survivors of domestic abuse, including running peer support groups.
“We’re actually exempt from the rules because we work with victims of crime,” Ms Robertson explained.
“It means we’re able to continue providing in-person support throughout lockdown which is a huge relief.”
But the charity is concerned about the season ahead.
“Christmas is not always a nice time of year for those living with an abuser,” the charity’s founder added.
“It can be a huge trigger for abusive behaviour, when you look at the figures.”
In order to ensure Kaleidoscopic UK can continue offering support throughout the coronavirus pandemic and in the run-up to Christmas, the charity is encouraging people to get involved to spread awareness and raise funds.
“We’re running our Berkshire Christmas Helper Elves programme again this year, which people can take part in on Facebook,” Ms Robertson said.
“Last year, we managed to get 350 children presents and we’re going to try and do that again.
“And fundraising is also a great thing. People can head to our website, send us a message and we can help then find a way to get involved,” she added.
To find out more about Kaleidoscopic UK’s support services, visit: www.kaleidoscopic.uk