Victims of domestic abuse in Gwynedd and Anglesey are being reassured that support services are still available during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Gorwel, which is run by housing association Grŵp Cynefin, assisted more than 350 people per week before the current restrictions were introduced.
But the organisation, led by housing association Grŵp Cynefin, is predicting a rise in requests for help – with concerns that self-isolation could increase domestic tensions as well as remove opportunities for respite, such as work or the school run.
Gorwel says it has taken steps to ensure it can handle a surge in enquiries, and is urging people to get in touch with any service to help them through any difficulties they may face as a result of the stay-at-home order.
Gwyneth Williams, Gorwel manager, said: ”We are acutely aware that there is a huge risk of an increase in domestic abuse instances.”
”Our number one priority is to ensure the health of our employees while still delivering key support to those who need it and we have introduced measures in accordance with government guidelines.”
”Our services are still operating during COVID-19. We have four refuges across Gwynedd and Anglesey that are places of safety and available 24 hours a day, which are funded by Gwynedd and Anglesey Housing Support Grant.”
”We also provide specialist provision for children and young people, and a floating support project that works with other agencies to work with people in a medium-risk situation.”
”We also run the Independent Domestic Violence Advisors service for high-risk referrals across North Wales in partnership with the Domestic Abuse Safety Unit (DASU) and funded by the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.”
The National Domestic Abuse helpline has already seen a 25 per cent increase in requests for help since the lockdown, with concerns that this will continue to grow.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said domestic abuse victims are allowed to leave home to seek help at refuges, despite rules to stop the spread of COVID-19.
North Wales Police are also reminding those experiencing abuse in the home that officers are still on hand to deal with perpetrators regardless of the restriction measures.
Gorwel provides support to the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, and people over 55 who need assistance to continue living independently, across Gwynedd, Anglesey and Denbighshire.
For more information about Gorwel, visit www.grwpcynefin.org or call 0300 111 2122.