New accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse during the lockdown was opened last month by Solace Women’s Aid and Southall Black Sisters.
The safe homes, in an undisclosed location, is providing crisis accommodation for three months during the pandemic – a time when many other refuges and support services are overstretched.
Emergency funding was provided by City Hall and the charitable foundation the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust.
It has 70 units for women and children from across London – the equivalent of three new refuges.
Since the COVID-19 crisis began, across the UK nineteen women and two children have died as a result of domestic abuse.
As the News has reported, in the week before lockdown Solace saw a rise of nearly 50 per cent in calls to its advice line in London and the Met is currently answering around 100 calls about domestic abuse every single day.
The accommodation is also helping migrant workers who have no recourse to public funds and therefore are ineligible for other types of support.
Southall Black Sisters was set up in 1979 as a campaigning and advocacy organisation for black and ethnic minority women.
Its director, Pragna Patel, said: “In these unprecedented times, no vulnerable group should be excluded from support and protection.
“We hope that the model of support that we are developing will be replicated around the country and that local authorities with support from the government will do the right thing by underwriting the costs needed to meet its human rights obligations to keep all women and children safe and protected, irrespective of their immigration status.”