SOLACE, a leading specialist charity in the UK supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence has launched its heart-wrenching Christmas appeal reminding people that it takes a woman on average seven years to leave an abusive relationship.
The short animation follows the life of ‘Maya’ over seven years of Christmas, based on the Twelve Years of Christmas theme, with the song being brought brilliantly to life by award-winning Rebecca Lucy Taylor, aka Self Esteem, one of the UK’s most exceptional and in demand singer-songwriters – herself a vocal campaigner against sexual violence and for the right for women and girls to live safe lives.
Judith Banjoko, Interim CEO of Solace, said:
“Solace have been supporting women and girls in London for nearly fifty years. We know how difficult it can be to leave an abusive relationship. No one should experience violence for 1 day let alone 7 years. From financial barriers and housing issues to coercive control and fear of death, there are so many reasons women don’t feel able to leave abusive relationships. With the cost-of-living crisis and the impact of the pandemic still being felt, we worry that even more women will be making the potentially fatal decision to stay with an abuser, as the idea of surviving alone is just as terrifying. Over half of survivors have had essential resources restricted by their abuser. We want to show them that they are not alone, we’re here to offer support and help when they are ready.”
The charity support nearly 30,000 women each year in London alone, and say that not only have calls become more complex since the pandemic but now both service users and workers are concerned by the escalating cost of living. This Christmas Solace will be supporting more than 300 women and families in their refuges as well as continuing to run their many varied services, from advice to rape crisis to therapeutic services aimed at helping women and their families recover from the trauma of abuse.
Jon Leney, Executive Creative Director of MSQ Sustain, said:
‘When we learnt that it takes an average of 7 years for women to leave an abusive relationship, we knew this would make a compelling jumping-off point for a powerful and emotive film. And by changing the words to a familiar Christmas song, sung by one of the UK’s leading female artists, combined with animation to tell Maya’s story, we’ve been able to bring this horrific fact to people’s attention, this Christmas.’
From 29th November to 6th December every donation made to Solace’s Big Give campaign will be matched by the Women & Girls Match Fund. Solace has a target of £50,000 which will fund support for the thousands of women and girls to escape violence across London.
To donate – click here.