Summary of report content
Healthwatch County Durham contacted 4 refuges in the county to talk to frontline staff and clients about how women were being supported during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report found that women and their families experience greater isolation due to leaving their homes to come into the refuge. Measures have been put in place to ensure that social distancing is upheld, such as rotas for accessing communal spaces. Provider organisations are making sure staff are supported, both supplying the physical resources such as PPE, but also checking their mental health and wellbeing. Home schooling can be a challenge for many women in the refuges, who are struggling to cope with their personal circumstances. Many of them do not have access to electronic equipment so cannot easily access online lessons. Move-on at the appropriate time was still taking place and housing providers were giving priority to domestic abuse victims moving out of the refuge. Some of the staff feel that there will be a surge in women and families seeking help once the current lockdown is relaxed.
No recommendations were made in this report