This new exercise challenge is helping victims of domestic abuse

While staying at home and social distancing is imperative in slowing the spread of coronavirus, unfortunately our new normal is having drastic effects for victims of domestic abuse. While most of us are holed up at home bingeing Netflix and baking banana bread, there are others out there for whom the new lockdown rules mean they are effectively trapped indoors with their abuser.

Refuge, the 24/7 national domestic abuse helpline, has reported a 50 per cent increase in calls and a 400 per cent rise in visits to their website since lockdown began, so we know this is a serious issue.

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But while social distancing rules all of our lives, it’s hard to know how best we can help women, men and children who are stuck in potentially dangerous situations. However, three women who are determined to help in whatever way they can have come up with a great virtual fundraising campaign idea that is taking off on social media.

Similar to the recent Run For Heroes campaign, ‘Hiit Against Hit’ is encouraging people to tackle a short workout challenge (chose from one of many workouts on the campaign’s YouTube channel, ranging from five to twenty minutes long) and then post a selfie to social media with the domestic violence helpline number: 0808 2000 247 written on your hand or piece of paper.

Tag #hiitagainsthit #womensaid and #refuge in your post and nominate five friends to take on the important challenge. Lastly, donate £5 (if you can, or more if you wish) to the Hiit Against Hit fundraising page to help them reach their goal of £50,000, which will be donated to domestic violence charities Women’s Aid and Refuge.

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We've set up HIIT AGAINST HIT to raise vital funds to support the domestic violence charities Women's Aid and Refuge that are working night and day to support survivors of abuse through online chats, phone services and by offering refuges and free travel to help them escape the perpetrators of abuse. All you have to do is: 1.Go to the HIIT AGAINST HIT YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDMqXeyzxi1rCE25Qt0uIkQ choose a workout from either physical or mental workouts, all given to us free by an amazing line up of fitness and mental health experts or do your own workout. We have workouts from former Olympian, current team GB professional athletes, personal trainers and high end fitness clubs as well as top Pyschologists 2. Complete your workout 3. Write the domestic violence helpline number 0808 2000 247 on your hand, take a photo & share tagging five more people to take on the HIIT AGAINST HIT challenge tagging @hiit_against_hit #hiitagainsthit 4. Once done donate £5 or more via https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/hiit_against_hit and know that those few minutes out of your day are helping women, men and children escape from abuse all around the country. If you aren’t able to complete a workout, you can still support the cause by donating and sharing the challenge to your friends and colleagues. Please share on Instagram, whatsapp and SM – we would be thrilled if you'd join the fight against abuse. #HIITAgainstHit @hiit_against_hit

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The campaign was created by female advocate and founder of Killing Kittens, Emma Sayle, writer and women’s rights champion, Resham Kotecha and psychologist, presenter and writer, Emma Kenny.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, the women said: ‘We have watched with a growing sense of helplessness the reports on how lockdown is causing calls to the domestic violence helpline to rocket with traffic to the domestic abuse websites up by 156 per cent and an increase of 64 per cent in Google searches for domestic abuse shelters.

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3 days into our @hiit_against_hit and we've had an amazing response to the campaign.. Thankyou! A very humbling experience and also hearing so many stories of abuse from women I've known for years or admired from afar who have opened up about their secret battles You just don't know what is going on behind closed doors of any relationship, even the most picturesque ones so please if youre reading this get on board and I challenge you to take part in the campaign 5 minutes of your time for a fiver that's all we ask 🤷🏼‍♀️ Whilst many of us have wonderful loving families around us as we are locked away with them during this hard time, Domestic abuse is on the up at a startling rate. With an increase of 64% in Google searches for domestic abuse shelters and police in London alone in the 6 weeks of lockown have made over 4000 arrests for domestic abuse. . To get involved: 1.Go to the HIIT AGAINST HIT YouTube channel, choose a workout from either physical or mental workouts, all given to us free by an amazing line up of fitness and mental health experts or do your own workout https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDMqXeyzxi1rCE25Qt0uIkQ 2. Complete your workout 3. Write the domestic violence helpline number 0808 2000 247 on your hand or some paper then the take a photo of yourself with the number clearly visible and share to social media tagging five more people to take on the HIIT AGAINST HIT challenge tagging HIIT against Hit 4. Once done donate £5 or more via @hiit_against_hit and know that those few minutes out of your day are helping women, men and children escape from abuse all around the country. #hiitagainsthit #domesticviolence #domesticabuse #domesticviolenceawareness #charity #community #caring #tribe #help

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‘We could stand by no longer and we urge everyone who can, to take a few minutes out of their day to do a workout, be that physical or mental. All the money raised will be donated to Refuge and Women’s Aid.

‘We cannot control what is happening right now but we can take control of how the most vulnerable are being helped. We urge everyone to get involved.’