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UK News

Calls for prayer as domestic abuse refuges struggle through cost of living crisis

by Alex Collett

A Christian author has urged people to pray for more financial help for domestic abuse refuges, as the cost of living rises. 

The charity, Hestia, says demand for spaces has increased by almost a third in the first three months of the year.

It's also costing more to move on from them.

Hestia's Jo Tilley-Riley says financial concerns are also causing a rise in cases of abuse. 

Natalie Collins, author of the book Out of Control - which focuses on Domestic Abuse, particularly for Christians, told Premier Christian News the cost of living is only one element of the problem:

"Those who are abusive - who are generally men - will have been abusive prior to the cost of living crisis and abusive now that we have this cost of living crisis. 

"What may have happened is that this abusive behaviour may have escalated, now that finances are tighter, that he has less ability to control his wider life, that he will be exerting greater control on his partner.

"One of the things that may have been keeping women staying with an abusive partner, is thinking he is providing for me, he is helping, financially we are stable.

"But if that stability has dissipated, potentially, the fact that she is no longer able to survive financially with him, may have motivated or pushed her to the point of going right now I'm ready to leave, I've had enough.

"I think it's important to recognise that it's a whole raft of things. 

"It's not only the cost of living that escalates the number of women who are ready to leave their abusive partner, I think we have to be really careful about attributing escalating abuse to kind of financial pressure."

Collins warned one of the things that an abuser will often do is isolate the victim from family and friends, which makes it really difficult for people to talk to.

She said if they do still have contact with family and friends, the best thing is finding a way to talk to them about what's going on

Collins said we need to be praying for domestic abuse survivors: "I think we need to pray for safety and for freedom, I think we need to pray that God would open up our hearts and our minds and our eyes and our ears to see abuse.

"I think praying for us to see where there is abuse and how we can respond. 

"I think we can be praying for those services to be resourced. I think we need to be financing."

If you have been affected by this article please visit: https://www.restored-uk.org/

Or call the National Domestic Violence helpline on:- 0808 2000 247

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