Figures released recently show that a surge in domestic abuse is now beginning to emerge as couples spend enforced time together at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
More than 25 organisations helping victims of violence in the home have reported an increase in their caseload since the start of the UK epidemic.
The National Domestic Abuse hotline run by the charity Refuge reported a 25% increase in calls between 26th March – 6th April. The charity also reported a 700% increase in calls to its helpline in a single day and that a separate helpline for perpetrators of domestic abuse seeking help to change their behaviour has received 25% more calls since lockdown began.
Women’s Aid also experienced an increase of 41% of users visiting its Live Chat site compared to the previous week before lockdown began.
Some organisations fear that they cannot effectively support adult abuse victims due to an inability to meet face to face and also due to staff sickness.
To address these concerns, on 11th April, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel launched a campaign promoted with the Twitter hashtag #YouAreNotAlone which it is hoped will provide information to victims of violence in the home, where to find advice and assistance on social media.
The Home Secretary insisted that there is help available for all victims of abuse and promised help for anyone at risk.
This week, the Home Office will begin publishing adverts raising awareness of where people can seek help on all main social media sites. It is also hoped that the campaign will encourage the public to show their solidarity for victims. It is promising to see that such initiatives are starting to raise awareness within the public domain as social media campaigns regarding support channels and assistance have commenced.
The Government also announced that it is working with charities and the domestic abuse commissioner to provide an additional £2 million to support domestic abuse helplines and online support.
The campaign #YouAreNotAlone on Twitter publicises the freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline number 0808 2000 247 run by Refuge and the online nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
Refuge have publicly welcomed the Government’s support and hope that the campaign #YouAreNotAlone will reach anyone experiencing domestic abuse.
If there are issues in your relationship which are causing you concern during these uncertain times and the present lockdown situation, please remember that you are not alone. At Price Slater Gawne, we are in your corner and have experienced solicitors who can give you help and advice relating to any relationship problem you might be experiencing. We are unfortunately unable to offer legal aid.
If you need any advice please call either Carole Nettleton on 07958 028069 or Nicholas Clough on 07538 385956. Alternatively, you can contact the team by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or via Live Chat at www.psg-law.co.uk