London mayor Sadiq Khan announces pilot plans for domestic abuse victims to seek help on the TfL network

Rebecca Smith
Victims will be able to seek support across the TfL network
Victims will be able to seek support across the TfL network (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan said today a pilot will get underway to improve support for victims of domestic abuse, ensuring they can seek help on the Transport for London (TfL) network and other sites.

People will be able to seek support on their daily journeys to work, college or school in a new tie-up between TfL and domestic abuse refuge provider Hestia. It will look into how people can seek support as part of their regular journeys, so that it is less likely to cause suspicion from an abuser.

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Khan said:

Keeping Londoners safe is my number one priority but sadly domestic abuse still accounts for around a tenth of all recorded crime in our city. I want to do everything I can to address this issue and ensure all women and girls in London feel safe.

Transport is something Londoners use every day, and this new and innovative pilot will explore how regular journeys, which will not cause suspicion, can become an important way for the most vulnerable or at-risk individuals to access the support and services they need.

More than 75,000 domestic abuse offences were recorded in London last year, and the pilot is in place to note that as well as physical harm, controlling behaviour can be a common feature of abusive relationships, making it hard - and sometimes dangerous - for victims to seek help.

The pilot will aim to provide safe, private spaces that could be a first step for victims of domestic abuse to access the services and support they need, provided by Hestia's specialist staff.

Victims will contact Hestia to set a pre-agreed time and TfL location to meet with Hestia's staff.

The start date for victims to access their new support will be announced imminently.

Patrick Ryan, chief executive at Hestia, said: “For people trying to escape domestic abuse, fear of their abuser finding out is a key barrier to seeking support. This partnership with TfL is an exciting innovation that will make it possible for us to provide specialist support as people travel about their daily lives.”

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