North Devon Against Domestic Abuse has launched a £10,000 emergency appeal to help support vulnerable children and mums experiencing domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown.

North Devon Against Domestic Abuse chief executive Sue Wallis.North Devon Against Domestic Abuse chief executive Sue Wallis.

The Barnstaple-based charity, which provides support including a refuge for abuse victims across Devon, has today (Thursday, April 2) launched an online JustGiving campaign to help.

The appeal was set up in response to the current covid-19 crisis and the enforced lockdown which has already seen a dramatic increase in cases of domestic violence.

The charity says hundreds of Devon children and their mums are in the terrifying situation of being locked in with their abusers - frightened, vulnerable and in danger.

NDADA chief executive Sue Wallis said: “Evidence from China and Italy has shown a huge increase in domestic violence during the pandemic and NDADA has already seen an upswing in requests for help.”

Women and children who could usually escape to a refuge or safe house have been confined with their abuser, although new rules have allowed exceptions to the covid-19 restrictions so those experiencing domestic abuse are now able to leave or move between households for their safety.

In addition to helping fund places at the refuge, the emergency appeal will fund activities such as online support services which women can access remotely (and without the fear of being discovered doing so).

NDADA is the only refuge in the whole of Devon for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

The registered charity receives no dedicated public funding for this service and supports families from all over the county who need to escape to safety.

People can donate to the Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/NDADA-Covid .