Hackney filmmaker raises awareness after domestic abuse calls soar

Women on phone to Solace Women's Aid in new awareness campaign video.

Solace Women's Aid has reported calls from women feeling abuse have more than doubled over the course of the pandemic. - Credit: Solace/Roll Nine Productions

Hackney-based filmmakers are raising awareness for Solace Women's Aid after the domestic abuse charity reported a 117 per cent rise in callers since before the pandemic.

As part of a Solace summer campaign, Hackney-based production company Roll Nine Productions created a short film depicting a concerning new trend.

According to the charity, more women are calling its helpline on their way to work, on the school run or even from schools, seeking help to flee violent homes.

Solace domestic and sexual violence advisor Roisin Ross features in the short film as an advice line worker. 

Solace domestic and sexual violence advisor Roisin Ross features in the short film as an advice line worker. - Credit: Solace/Roll Nine Productions

Solace director Jane Jutsum said she was proud of the campaign for highlighting the "incredible work" of charity staff and "reality of what it is like for women" fleeing abuse.

She said: “The last 15 months have been really difficult for everyone, but for women and children living with abuse it is terrifying and often life threatening.


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"We have seen a truly alarming rise in calls since March 2020 when the lockdown began."

Kirsty Malcolm, founder of Roll Nine Productions said the filming was "emotional". 

Shot by cinematographer Beatriz Delgado Mena and award-winning director Alfie Dale, the video stars Roisin Ross, a domestic and sexual violence advisor and Solace staff member portraying an advice line worker. 

Filming took place in Tower Hamlets in a park near Mile End. 

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Solace is an independent charity working across London, providing life-saving support to women and children survivors of domestic and sexual abuse

Young girl on swing.

Charity Solace Women's Aid says since the pandemic hit more women are calling its helpline on their way to work or on the school run, seeking help to flee violent homes. - Credit: Solace/Roll Nine Productions

The charity reports that during the pandemic many women were monitored 24/7 and as families are now more able to leave their homes, due to the easing of restrictions, it has seen calls to its free advice line more than double.

Woman sits in her apartment taking calls.

The film was produced by Hackney-based company Roll Nine Productions. - Credit: Solace/Roll Nine Productions

Solace supports more than 23,000 women and girls each year as well as a smaller but increasing number of men. 

Fiona Dwyer, Solace chief executive, said: “Our work is crucial to supporting women and children, particularly across London, enabling them to build safe and strong lives.

"Our services have seen an exponential rise in demand since the start of the pandemic and we urgently need further funding to enable us to answer every call to continue our life saving work.”

To help support the work of Solace Women’s Aid visit www.solacewomensaid.org/lifeline

learn more at www.solacewomensaid.org

To watch the video click here.


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