The Cambridge University Ladies Netball Club, who will be raising money for Women's Aid over the course of ten daysChris Jordan

Content Note: This article contains discussions of domestic abuse and violence against women

According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 2.4 million adults experienced domestic abuse in 2019. Living in lockdown is hard for most but, for those living with their abusers, it can be deadly. To help support women and children living in unsafe environments, Cambridge University Ladies Netball Club (CULNC) have begun a challenge to run 1000 km over ten days, raising money for Cambridge Women’s Aid.

“...they’ve already raised over £1,500 for Cambridge Women’s Aid”

It’s a huge challenge – many team members will be running long distances almost every day whilst as revising for their finals or meeting dissertation deadlines. They may be spread across the country, but the team are determined to complete their goal, since the charity they are supporting is so important.

Carla Hill, president of CULNC, spoke to Varsity: “Knowing the value of an empowering and supportive female environment, the women of CULNC wanted to stand in solidarity with the victims of domestic abuse, who are particularly in need during the current crisis. Since many of us at CULNC were missing sport, university and each other, what better way to support Cambridge in spirit than by running together to raise money for Cambridge Women’s Aid. We would be so grateful for any donations you can give.”

CULNC recognise that the current crisis has had very serious repercussions for survivors of domestic abuse; in just a few weeks since the beginning of lockdown, calls to a national domestic abuse helpline have increased by 49%. Deaths as a result of domestic violence have also doubled, reaching an 11-year-high according to the Counting Dead Women Project, in a report made to MPs last week.


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Cambridge Women’s Aid provide essential support for women and children affected by domestic abuse through its specialist services, which is needed now more than ever. Amongst other things, they provide advice, safe refuge, one-to-one help, support groups to explore the dynamics of abusive relationships, and dedicated services for children whose mothers or carers are being supported.

Currently, the outreach service of CWA is providing telephone and email support to those experiencing abuse at home – you can call them on 01223 361214 for telephone support and advice. If it is not suitable or safe to call, you can email on outreach@cambridgewa.org.uk and they’ll respond within 2-3 working days.

The CULNC fundraising page states a goal of £4,000 – at the time of writing, just 24 hours into the challenge, they’ve already raised over £1,500 for Cambridge Women’s Aid. You can donate to their fundraiser here, and follow their progress on their Instagram page @cambridgeuninetball.

More information about Women’s Aid and the work they do can be found here.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the following organisations provide support and resources:

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