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This is how Covid-19 has affected Domestic Abuse

by | May 8, 2020 | Covid-19, Mental Health

Domestic Abuse has increased during Covid-19

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident or series of incidents of controlling, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In most cases this happens by a partner or ex-partner, but could also happen by a family member or carer. It is very common and mostly experienced by women. Statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse.

Abusive behaviours happen mainly in one’s intimate partner relationship and it is common that an abusive partner will not show their negative or harmful behaviour in front of others. They tend to put on a “fake mask” for the rest of the world to see and only show try true colours to their partner.

How lockdown has affected it:

Due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus) the government has instructed us to stay home to avoid the spread of coronavirus. However, there are those who are feeling scared or anxious about this lockdown as they are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse as they have no escape from their abusers. Being confined at home is difficult for anyone, but it is a real nightmare for victims of domestic abuse. Since the lockdown was announced there has been a rise of about 50% in reported domestic abuse cases around the world. These cases are only from women who were able to seek help. There are many who cannot make the call for help as they fear that they may be overheard by their abusive partners or are stopped from leaving home.

The UK government is working with the charity sector and the police to make sure that domestic violence help and support services remain open during lockdown.

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police
  • If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999, and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak
  • There is also an emergency text service for those you are unable to verbally communicate or who are deaf. Text REGISTER to 999 to register with the police and then you will receive a text which will tell you what to do next. Do this when you are safe so you can text when you are in danger.

During this time, domestic abuse victims are still allowed to leave their home to seek help.

From May 1st, Boots pharmacy consultation rooms across the UK have become safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse.

While in the consultation room, people will have access to:

  • 24-hour National domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • Men’s advice line: 0808 801 032
  • Scotland – Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline (freephone 24/7): 0800 027 123
  • Wales – Live Fear Free Helpline (freephone 24/7): 0808 801 0800
  • Northern Ireland – Domestic & Sexual Abuse: 0808 802 141
  • Signposting to download the free mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Do not keep it a secret as it is nothing to be ashamed of. Speak up and ask for help.

Remember – the abuse you are experiencing is not your fault.

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