7. Requests for general support
Across the board there were continued reports of clients contacting domestic abuse services for general support, particularly around gas and electricity, housing and food access. Some services reported clients finding the situation of lockdown and the risk posed by the virus very difficult to understand due to literacy issues, learning difficulties, and digital exclusion. Services reported some clients' confusion about how to manage everyday tasks such as shopping, posting mail, and paying bills. Some services also reported clients who were confined to their house due to fear of the virus and its impact. From week 5 onwards, services noted women facing increasing economic challenges, namely struggles accessing food and fuel. Services reported this to have a significant impact on women's mental health and resilience. Some services reported increased applications to destitution funds/resources.