Domestic violence refers to the coercive behaviour one partner inflicts upon another. It comes in many forms: psychological abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, coercive control, physical abuse, and more recently tech abuse.

In the UK, 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse in their life time. It is estimated that 1.4 million women and 600,000 men experience domestic abuse yearly, however, figures are likely higher due to unreported nature of this crime. Both women and men are shamed for varying reasons when coming forward regarding their experiences often through victim blaming.

Over the last 10 years, a woman is killed by her partner or an ex partner every 4 days. Heartbreakingly, this average has doubled during the lockdown period due to women being confined to the home and unable to access services (Karen Smith, The Founder of Counting Dead Women).

Next Chapter's work provides a reliable service for women at any point of their journey with domestic abuse and violence. Whether that be the first incident of violence or realisation of abuse, all the way through to rebuilding a life beyond that relationship.

The added demand for these services has encouraged me to get involved by running a half marathon on the 20th of September to raise money for this fantastic cause. Running is pretty new to me so this will be a great challenge to get my self ready in 13 weeks but nothing on what these women are experiencing everyday. Please donate what you can!

Charlotte Cook