Grazia (UK)

‘PEO­PLE ARE DES­PER­ATE TO HELP’

- Women's Rights · Society · Human Rights · Violence and Abuse · Facebook · Gone Girl · Poland · Domestic Violence

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

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