Today train companies – in a joint initiative with Women’s Aid – have announced free travel to all those fleeing domestic abuse anywhere in Britain during the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown.
Caroline said “I am really relieved to hear of the work the Rail Delivery Group is doing to support some of the vulnerable groups at this current time”.
The commitment from rail companies comes as campaigners report a rise in requests for help from victims of domestic abuse since the COVID-19 lockdown measures come into force last month, and will see train operators cover the cost of train tickets for anyone applying for free train travel to refuge accommodation. This industry-wide scheme follows the successful launch, prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, of similar initiatives by Southeastern and GWR which have already helped a number of people, and their children, escape domestic abuse and begin a new life away from their perpetrator.
Those suffering from domestic abuse are usually advised to seek refuge services at a considerable distance from their perpetrator, but for many, raising the cash to pay for a train ticket can be very difficult. This is especially true for people experiencing economic abuse, who may have no access to cash.
The ‘Rail to refuge’ scheme aims to remove this barrier by offering free train tickets for women and men, and their children, to travel to a recognised refuge. From today, survivors can access these tickets through the member services of Women’s Aid Federation of England, Welsh Women’s Aid, Scottish Women’s Aid and Imkaan, once they have received an offer of a refuge place. Members of these organisations can book the tickets via a bespoke booking system for the people they are referring to, or receiving in, their refuge accommodation. The nationwide ‘rail to refuge’ scheme will be in place for approximately 12 weeks, or for the length of the lockdown.
For further details, please read RDG’s full press release: