As the country’s lockdown measures were announced, immediate concern set in for the victims of domestic violence, trapped with their abuser, with no escape. Crucial time away from violent and controlling partners – whilst at work, on the school run – was taken away overnight.
At the peak of the virus, the reports and statistics confirm the fears for those suffering abuse:
- West Midlands police report 400 arrests over the last 2 weeks, but fear that more crimes are going unreported;
- Campaigners tell us that domestic killings have doubled during lockdown;
- Helplines report a surge in their use;
- Refuges are seeing unprecedented demand, with calls upon hotels to be used for safe accommodation.
With no planned lifting of lockdown restrictions, the pressure cooker effect continues.
If you are suffering, the message is:
- You are not alone
- Please do not wait
- Seek help now
- call dial 999 and press 55 if you cannot, or are too scared to speak;
- call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 (24 hours);
For those who are not affected, please be on your guard for your friends, family, neighbours. Anyone experiencing abuse will be struggling to reach out. Now, more than ever.