A West Norfolk charity supporting women and children affected by domestic abuse has set up a live chat facility.

King’s Lynn-based Pandora Project has been able to set up the chat on its website following continued funding from Norfolk’s Office of Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCCN).

The  live chat, available Monday to Friday between 1pm and 3pm, has already seen a number of women call.

Pandora founder and manager Tracy Mahoney said: “The service allows women to access support in a more discrete way. We have three operators, who can all work simultaneously offering advice and support around domestic abuse issues.

“We had our first chat within minutes of going live. People are asked to give a first name, it doesn’t have to be their real name, we don’t ask for any other information. 

“The women who have contacted us so far are living with abusive partners and have wanted advice about leaving safely, whether that’s now or in the future.

“We are hugely grateful to OPCCN who funded this, enabling us to offer a different way for women to get in touch at this very difficult time.” 

Pandora’s live chat service is available via www.pandoraproject.org.uk.

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green, who held a virtual meeting with specialist domestic abuse providers in the county last month, said: “My office has been, and continues to work tirelessly to ensure support is in place to help those in most need in Norfolk.

“Providers such as Pandora are doing an amazing job in very difficult, sometimes testing circumstances, and I am delighted my office has been able to provide extra funding to allow those affected by such abuse to continue to get the vital support they need.”

λ Organisations supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence during the pandemic can apply for help from £25m released by the Ministry of Justice. 

Norfolk’s OPCCN  has secured £306,000 of the extraordinary COVID-19 funding to cover the period from March to October.

The deadline for requests is noon on Monday. Grants will be distributed from Thursday, June 18.

Email OPCCNGrants@norfolk.pnn.police.uk 

can bid for

The police will always respond to emergency calls if you are in immediate danger.

If you know someone who is the victim of domestic abuse the  advice is to seek help.

Anyone in immediate danger should call 999. Help is also available via the Silent Solution system – if speaking or making a sound would put you in danger and you need help, call 999, stay on the line and press 55 when prompted and you will be transferred to police.