‘Available 24/7’ - Domestic abuse service reassures victims going into second lockdown

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Vera Trust directors from left to right, soci

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Vera Trust directors from left to right, social worker Bobbie Dean, meditation teacher Amber Bunce, and secretary Beth Dimon. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

A support service for vulnerable women and children has reassured families that it will be available 24/7 for anyone who needs help in lockdown.

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

The Vera Trust, in Thetford, will remain in operation throughout the second national lockdown, in a bid to support people who have fled domestic abuse.

The trust, which has been officially up and running for four weeks, will be offering its usual service which includes group therapy, mindfulness and meditation for woman suffering with severe PTSD and anxiety, self-awareness programmes and a safe space for children.

But its founder, Kimmi Denise, said it will also have a phone number available for anyone who needs to flee a dangerous situation.

Ms Denise said: “During any lockdown period we will be available 24/7 via a telephone number.

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant


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“We are not a refuge and we don’t offer accommodation at all but there are places and charities in Norfolk we can signpost to and we help to support them.

“I just want people in Thetford and surrounding areas to know that if they are in an unsafe situation during lockdown, they can leave.”

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For those who have already been using the service, it has been a “life line” which has been helping women, and children who have witnessed domestic abuse, to “break the cycle”.

One woman, who visits the service with her daughter, said: “Other than my children, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson

The Vera Trust, a domestic abuse service, in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

“He made me feel so worthless and my daughter saw that for years. But I want my children to know what being loved is. You need to know your worth and I say that to my little girl every day.”

MORE: ‘It is needed now’ - Town’s domestic abuse charity to offer ‘holistic’ drop-in support centre.

Ms Kimmi added: “Lockdown is the worst-case scenario for someone who is an abusive relationship.

“A lot of places are closed, so where a woman would normally be able to pop to the hairdressers or go to a friend to get out or seek security and support, all of that is gone.

“Your only option is to be at home and domestic abuse happens in the home.

“So it is fantastic that the government have said support services can still run for vulnerable people. We just want people to know we are here.”

If you need help fleeing domestic abuse in lockdown, call 07305 182075, or to donate visit their gofundme page or Amazon wish list.

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