‘PEOPLE ARE DESPERATE TO HELP’
In 2010, Anne Scott, 39, from Scotland, set up Facebook group Gone Girl International to connect and support women. During the pandemic it has become a lifeline for domestic violence victims.
Since lockdown began, there’s been a huge rise in cries for help on Gone Girl International. We’re helping more people in difficult or dangerous situations, like victims of domestic violence who are stuck away from home in lockdown with a violent partner.
Before, women in these situations knew they could leave the country if they needed to, but now borders are closed and panic has risen as people realise their escape routes have gone. Recently, a woman made contact on the group about an abusive partner who had hidden her passport and bank cards and abandoned her. The GGI community rallied around to support and advise her and raise money for accommodation so she could leave.
Another woman was home visiting family in Poland when the borders closed. She made clear there was abuse going on, but she couldn’t leave, so we put her in touch with someone who could help in the city she’s in.
As the cries for help grow, so do the offers from people desperate to help. People love to help each other; it’s amazing what can be achieved with the kindness of volunteers.
I know what it’s like to feel isolated, stuck far from home in an unhappy relationship. After I started the group in 2010, the connections I made through it saved me. Back then, I craved a space to make friends, away from men. Forming connections with women empowered me to leave my husband; it helped me get my power back. A couple of members even came to my house to help me pack.
Now GGI reaches eight million women a month globally and hosts 4,000 free events each year. It works because it’s women helping women and I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing community. girlgoneinternational.com