Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes has spoken of her pride in supporting the club's campaign with Refuge, a charity that provides specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

With the country in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in domestic abuse incidents, therefore, the club are promising to match the donations that Refuge receive in the next six-week period.As part of the campaign the Blues manager along with players from our women’s and men’s team have taken part in a digital campaign to ensure those in need of support know they are not alone.‘We’re all behind this campaign and are proud of the way the club acts to support programmes like this. The club owner has also been directly involved in this specific campaign, and is fully supporting it,’ Hayes said.

To donate to the campaign please click here

‘Our owner Mr. Abramovich is amazing, not just in being a fantastic supporter of our team, but something like this shows he is behind the right campaigns, asking myself and the team to be directly involved.

‘This campaign matters to us all at Chelsea and makes me extremely proud to be part of our organisation. In times of need, our club do a wonderful job to represent those who are less fortunate. That is something that Mr Abramovich and the club do extremely well.’

Hayes revealed a time when she was a child that a frightened relative stayed at her family home to escape an abusive partner and says she will always hold the ‘horrible memories’ of that.‘We could all cite a friend or family member in our lives subjected to domestic abuse. I know from direct experience. A family member and her children didn’t have a safe place, and they came to our house.‘I remember that so well growing up, and how scary that was for everyone involved. She was very scared she was going to be followed to our home, and we were all frightened that we would be reprimanded for it.‘I have horrible memories of that as a child. I was nine. She came with her children to stay with us for a while, almost in hiding. I remember feeling every day going out to play that "I hope he doesn’t come and get her, is he going to get us?" That was scary,’ Hayes said.Refuge reports that 1.6 million women in the UK suffered with domestic abuse last year, while almost one in three women aged 16 to 59 in England and Wales will suffer domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women every week are killed by a current or former partner.Domestic abuse has a detrimental effect on women’s mental health. Statistics show that women who experience domestic violence are twice as likely to experience depression and it is estimated that around three women a week commit suicide as a result of domestic violence.‘It’s a frightening number and to think that self-isolation has the potential to aggravate that further is really concerning,’ Hayes adds.‘There is zero escape during this time, women and children are stuck at home in almost devastating circumstances. Thinking about there being a domestic abuse pandemic in line with what’s going on with the coronavirus shows this is really life-saving work that Refuge do.‘We will see a lot of news during the coronavirus relating to domestic abuse crimes because women and their children will seek ways out, and it is important that we remind those women there is a safe way out, there is a place to go, and there is a support network, but we have to raise that awareness, otherwise they suffer in silence.‘There are huge numbers having to survive in their own home, feeling abandoned. I don’t think there can be a worse place to be.’

Refuge provides a national network of specialist services which support around 6,500 women and children every day, including emergency accommodation, community outreach, independent domestic violence advocacy (IDVAs), culturally specific services and a team of child support workers.

Refuge also runs the Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, 0808 2000 247, which receives over 270 calls and contacts every day. provides additional support information and an online form where women can request a safe time to be called back. This online method of accessing support is especially important now when telephoning for help may be more difficult.

Women can also receive automated guidance via Refuge’s techbot on how to secure their devices

To donate to the campaign please click hereFor media enquiries please contact [email protected] or call 07889 810331.