The reports of the inquest into the death of Jessica Laverack from East Yorkshire, and the conclusion by the coroner that the underlying cause was domestic abuse (Channel 4), highlight an important landmark link between domestic abuse, declining mental health and suicide. Advance’s report, Women Demand Better Mental Health, from 31 March 2021, identified a 700% increase in women’s deaths by suicide and overdose, with eight in that year, compared to only one each year for the previous years. Advance’s advocates have been providing up to four times the amount of support to women survivors compared to pre-pandemic levels, despite our already overstretched service.
Advance also reported:
- 37% of women survivors of domestic abuse reported mental health needs including suicidal ideation
- Women reported facing higher criteria for accessing mental health and safeguarding support, with 42% of women reporting difficulty accessing mental health services, leaving them feeling unsupported, and even forgotten
- On average, women required three to four times the amount of support from Advance’s advocates compared to pre-pandemic levels, often due to increasing mental health needs
- Women reported difficulty and additional barriers to contacting statutory services for support, as well as delays in accessing housing and the legal system, as well as accessing essentials, increasing anxiety and ill mental health.
Niki Scordi, Advance’s CEO said:
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- Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, violence-free and equal lives so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society.
- The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and lead the lives they choose, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
- As well as providing direct support, Advance works with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the issues these women face.
- Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get Help
- For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our Impact