Soroptimists Kam Britland, 64, and Elaine McDonald, 72, at the Nottingham Playhouse event for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Domestic abusers are using the cost of living crisis to their advantage as financial pressures make it harder for victims to leave.

This can include restricting access to money, work or items they need such as clothing and food, according to the national charity Safe Lives.

The warning came as an event at Nottingham Playhouse began 16 days of activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

At this event different types of domestic violence were discussed through forms of art, poetry and speech while orange was worn to highlight the violence against women.

“woman have fewer options about being financially able to leave the perpetrator.”

Elaine McDonald, Soroptimist

Soroptimist member and attendee at the event, Elaine McDonald, said: “Domestic abuse has got higher nationally because of the pandemic and is still increasing because of the cost of living crisis, it’s having an impact, in that woman have fewer options about being financially able to leave the perpetrator.”

Every minute two incidents of domestic violence are reported to the police and one in four women will be a victim in their lifetime.

Nottinghamshire Police reported 258 violence and sexual offences during October which was the most commonly reported crime in the city centre alone.

Pictured from left to right: Dr Helen Rose, Suzanne Plamping, Carol Hunt, Jenny Bailey, and Helen Ainley at the Nottingham Playhouse event for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The Nottingham Playhouse event was held on November 25 in association with Soroptimist International and Nottinghamshire Federation of Women’s Institutes who also knitted 910 orange flowers displayed outside the Playhouse.

Suzanne Plamping, a member of Nottinghamshire’s Federation for Women’s Institutes said: “We are wearing orange which is the UN colour to highlight violence against women.

“In the UK there has been 85 women that have been killed through domestic violence in the last year that have been recorded.

“I’ve got family connections that have had issues with domestic violence so I can see it affecting women as well as children personally.

“There is a lot you don’t see where it is control as well as the physical and it’s the control that is always more hidden as well.”

Research done by Women’s Aid shows that many women who face domestic abuse already experience economic control by their abuser.

Communications officer and regional president for Soroptimist Midland East, Kam Britland, 64 said: “Domestic violence has increased by about 25%, but we have to be careful with anonymity to help them, so we work with the Woman’s Aid to help them like providing exit packages.

“Gender equality for women is tremendously difficult, part of the UN stats was saying that to get the equal balance we will have to wait 300 years for the men and women to have that balance.”

The 16 days of activism ended on December 10 however the Soroptimists and Nottinghamshire Federation of Women’s Institutes mission to end domestic violence continues all year round.

If you are experiencing domestic violence there are a variety of resources available to help:

  • Women can call the Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 for free at any time, where staff will offer confidential, non-judgemental information and support.
  • If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help, ask for ‘ANI’ in a participating pharmacy – ‘ANI’ stands for Action Needed Immediately.
  • Safe spaces are available in Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug and Well pharmacies, TSB banks and independent pharmacies across the UK. Once inside specialist domestic abuse support information will be available for you to access.
  • Call 999 from a landline phone as information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.
  • Register with the emergency SMS by texting ‘REGISTER’ to 999.