Restrictions fight illness but fuel domestic abuse
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the world to take drastic measures in an effort to fight the disease and minimise the spread of infection.
Lockdowns, self-isolation and social distancing have resulted in heightened stress, tension and anxiety in many households.
But the dramatic impact on domestic abuse has been deeply disturbing and overwhelming.
A dangerous time for domestic abuse victims
Schools and businesses have closed, incomes have dropped, jobs have been lost, alcohol and drug-abuse has increased and domestic abuse victims are being forced to isolate with their abusive partners with no escape, break, external contact or support.
A recent Women’s Aid Survivor Survey showed a significant increase not only in instances of domestic abuse but also in controlling and coercive behaviour .
And the latest shocking statistics speak for themselves:
- During the month of April, domestic abuse incidents reported across Europe have increased by 60% compared to April 2019
- UK charity https://www.refuge.org.uk/Refuge, which provides shelter spaces and support services across the country, reported a 66% increase in the number of helpline calls made by victims and a staggering 950% increase in visitors to their website, representing a new peak since lockdown began
It is clear that victims are finding it harder to leave their abusers or seek specialist help, but support is still available.
Help and support
Refuge (UKwide Domestic Abuse Charity)
- Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247
- Survivor Tips
- The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
Women’s Aid (UKwide Domestic Abuse charity for Women and Children)
- Live Chat Open 10am-4pm (M-Fr), 10am-12pm (Sa, Su) for confidential expert support from specialised support workers
- Survivors Forum
- Survivors Handbook
SafeLives - UKwide Domestic Abuse charity
- Offers a wide range of help and support services for domestic abuse victims and children
My CWA (Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Charity)
- 24-hour helpline: 0300 123 5101 or 01270 250390
- 0300 123 7047 option 2 (during office hours)
- Currently running regular live web chats with Cheshire West & Chester Domestic Abuse Intervention and Prevention Service and other representatives from domestic abuse agencies across the county
- You can submit questions and participate anonymously – for advice and guidance on staying discreet and covering your tracks click here
- For more information, see Cheshire Police Facebook Page @cheshirepolice
Access to support and legal advice to stay safe
Don’t suffer in silence. If you’re a victim or domestic abuse or violence, it is important to report any incident immediately to the police. It is equally important that you seek immediate legal advice and assistance.
We are still working hard to provide legal support and advice to domestic abuse victims, now more than ever. And just because our lawyers are working from home, this hasn’t stopped.
In addition to conducting telephone and email appointments, we are utilising a wide range of digital technology e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Face-time, Microsoft Team and Zoom to enable easy remote communication with our clients.
Our Family Law department can provide you with legal advice on seeking protection of a Non Molestation Order and/or Occupation Order to ensure you are immediately provided with the necessary information and assistance - we also have a Resolution-accredited specialist in Domestic Abuse and Children within the team.
For a confidential discussion, help or advice, please contact us on 01606 48777, firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Facebook page @susanhowarthsolicitors.