COVID-19 – Domestic abuse during lockdown

Eleanor Slater

In a news report today, police have warned there has been a rise in domestic abuse incidents during the COVID-19 outbreak which is extremely distressing to read.

Greater Manchester’s deputy mayor for policing and crime, Baroness Beverley Hughes, has raised concerns about preparing for serious incidents over the next three weeks and have already noticed a rise in domestic abuse incidents.

Due to the recent measures taken by the government to close non-essential workplaces and prevent people from leaving the house except for essential travel to work, limited exercise or for groceries/medication, domestic abuse victims are left at the mercy of their perpetrators.

Baroness Hughes has linked this to the very stressful circumstances for many families and potential for tension to arise in the home as a result of what we are asking people to cope with. This could include significantly less money being brought into the home.

Although this is going to make things more difficult for people, this is no excuse for domestic abuse, which has long lasting consequences for the victim and children that may witness it.

The police are being vigilant to reports of domestic abuse, and Cumbria has requested that postal workers and delivery drivers also look out for the signs of abuse. The issue is that most people suffering abuse will not necessarily show visible signs of it, as much abuse is emotional or coercive.

Victims are also less likely to answer questions or attempt to get help if the perpetrator is sat in the house listening to every word, as the consequences could be severe for them.

It is a very worrying time for victims of domestic abuse who may feel like there is no way out for them or their children, but support services are still open and ready to help. The Bright Sky app offers support to those who need it, and can be disguised for those who may have their phones checked.

Furthermore, the Courts are still in operation with our domestic violence team of solicitors able to provide advice and assistance in obtaining orders to prevent any form of abuse continuing, as well as removal of the perpetrator from the family home if needed.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like information about the different orders and possible courses of action we can potentially take on your behalf. We are still here to help you as normal. It is vital that those who are subject to domestic violence are safe and are provided with the necessary support and protection.

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