Chelsea have teamed up with the domestic abuse charity Refuge to help provide support for people forced to self-isolate in vulnerable situations because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts have warned the coronavirus crisis will lead to “a domestic abuse pandemic”, with self-isolation potentially aggravating existing abusive behaviour and women in danger of finding it harder to report abuse and seek support. The manager of Chelsea Women, Emma Hayes, and male and female players are taking part in a digital campaign to raise awareness and funds for the charity, with the Premier League club promising to match all donations received in the next six weeks.
“I am proud to lead the club’s support of this worthy cause during such a difficult time for so many,” Hayes said. “There are many things for people to deal with in the present climate but it is important we support the vulnerable and those who may feel alone or without a voice. I hope this campaign can do that and make a difference to those who need support.”
César Azpilicueta, the captain of Chelsea’s men’s team, said: “Domestic violence is such a serious issue in society and we must double our efforts to look after those in danger during this ongoing pandemic. I am so proud of my club for supporting Refuge in their vital work protecting vulnerable women and children.”
Chelsea have played an active role in the community since the coronavirus outbreak. They have opened up the Millennium Hotel on their Stamford Bridge stadium site to NHS staff working in London hospitals, and their players have donated money to enable the Chelsea Foundation to help those in need during the crisis.