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A Jewish women’s charity facing a surge in demand from domestic abuse victims during the coronavirus crisis has been handed a timely boost to enable it to help more women. Jewish Women’s Aid, which supports female victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and their children, has been...

A Jewish women’s charity facing a surge in demand from domestic abuse victims during the coronavirus crisis has been handed a timely boost to enable it to help more women.

Jewish Women’s Aid, which supports female victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and their children, has been awarded a grant of £248,700 from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, which makes grants of over £25 million a year to charities tackling disadvantage across the capital.

The Finchley-based charity has recently launched a fund-raising appeal after facing an unprecedented demand for its services during the pandemic, with the number of women it helps increasing by more than a quarter.

It will use the City Bridge Trust funding to employ a senior independent domestic violence advocate for five years to help Jewish women and girls from across the capital escape violence and abuse and rebuild their lives.

Jewish Women’s Aid estimates it takes Jewish women more than 11 years to take the first steps in leaving an abusive home – two years longer than the average – with perpetrators often using faith and community as a tool of abuse.

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Dhruv Patel, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “Jewish Women’s Aid’s expert staff have an intrinsic understanding of the cultural experiences and needs of the communities they serve, helping them play a vital role in empowering women to extricate themselves from situations of violence and abuse.

“Like many charities, this organisation is facing an extraordinary surge in demand for its services during the lockdown, and this funding will help it to do even more to help women change their lives for the better.”

The worker employed through City Bridge Trust funding will provide an advocacy, support and information service, supporting women to escape abusive situations to a place of safety and access health, housing, employment, benefits and legal support as required.

Naomi Dickson, Jewish Women’s Aid chief executive, said: “This grant will help us to protect and support our most high-risk women. The expertise and experience of a senior independent domestic violence advocate can save lives and transform futures.”

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