Harrogate domestic abuse charity sees referrals triple due to covid


Last updated Dec 16, 2021
Lindsay Oliver (left) is the CEO of New Beginnings.

The founder of a Harrogate domestic abuse charity has blamed coronavirus for an increase in domestic abuse after the number of referrals tripled in a year.

Lindsay Oliver is chief executive of New Beginnings, which provides comfort and support to abused women when they have settled into new homes and the crisis team has withdrawn.

This time last year the charity took two referrals a month. More recently it has been receiving on average six a month.

The number of active clients over the same period has also more than doubled, from 15 to 35.

That increase in referrals and clients, Ms Oliver believes, is the after-effects of coronavirus lockdowns this year and last year. She told the Stray Ferret:

“We are just now starting to see the outcome of coronavirus. Many people need support but the Harrogate district has been so generous.

“It’s very difficult, particularly at Christmas. Part of the abuse is financial so these women often have lots of debt so struggle to buy gifts and a nice meal.

“With donations from the community and businesses we work with Roots and Fruits (Harrogate greengrocers) to provide our families with a big hamper of food and a turkey.

“Not only are we able to provide food with the support of our amazing community but we are also able to give them gifts, not just for the children but for the women too.”

Some of the donations for the Christmas campaign.

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Where can I go for further support?

If you are in a physical or emotionally abusive relationship, click here to contact IDAS, which is the largest charity in Yorkshire supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

If you’re out of an abusive relationship but need further support, you can self-refer to New Beginnings. Email [email protected].

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