Progress Housing Group launches new confidential text service for people facing domestic abuse in Chorley and South Ribble

Progress Housing Group and its women’s refuges have launched a new confidential text service to support people in South Ribble and Chorley who are facing domestic abuse or feeling unsafe at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

The new text line, which will be available between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday on the number 07790971237, will be operational alongside the domestic abuse telephone helpline which continues to run 24-hours a day. The text service will provide an additional way to make contact with our refuge service and ask for help should someone not be able to call, or feel that it’s not safe to call, the 24/7 helpline.

Progress Housing Group’s Refuge Manager, Liz Stanton explains more,
“Since the lockdown, it’s been reported that suspected domestic abuse killings in the UK have increased and the National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help.

"However, we, along with our partners at Lancashire Refuges (the consortium led by SafeNet) are extremely concerned as we have actually seen a drop in calls, not an increase. We believe this is because people don’t feel safe to ring because their perpetrator is locked in with them. Despite the decrease in calls to us, we know that more women in the area are very likely to be facing increased abuse during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Since the lockdown, we’ve added even more information, advice and guidance to the domestic abuse webpages on our website, we continue to provide the 24 hour helpline, and it is hoped that the launch of our new text service will provide an alternative way for women to get the support and advice they need. Please text or call us. You are not alone.”

South Ribble Women’s Refuge opened its doors in 2000 and has provided a safe haven to over 1000 women and their children. Progress Housing Group took over the management of Chorley Women’s Refuge in July 2015 and have accommodated over 1016 women and their children there. The Refuge staff have supported a further 500 women through its community resettlement service funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls strategy.

If you are concerned about someone who may be at risk of domestic abuse, phone the South Ribble Domestic Abuse Helpline in confidence on 01772 435865 or email clarehouse@progressgroup.org.uk. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The new text line service is now available between 10 am and 4 pm Monday – Friday on 07790971237.

You can also find help and advice if you are concerned about domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak on Progress Housing Group’s website here.