While the current lockdown is necessary to tackle covid-19, restricting social contact can also limit the ability of people facing domestic abuse to seek help. With domestic abuse rates having risen in recent weeks it is more important than ever that people know where and how to access support if they need it.
To address this the Government are running a public awareness campaign, ‘At Home Shouldn’t Mean At Risk’. The campaign highlights that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse, help is still available. It also highlights that if you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, isolation rules do not apply.
The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time, including the free 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge, and www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
“With less social contact comes a greater risk of domestic abuse going unnoticed. It is essential that everyone experiencing domestic abuse or the threat of harm knows that support is still available during lockdown, and I would urge everyone to share the details of support available within their local community.” – Dr Ben Spencer MP
The Home Office has also provided an immediate £2 million in funding to support the charities and organisations supporting domestic abuse victims, and is working with charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to ensure this reaches the front line services supporting victims of domestic abuse.
The Government also put forward new legislation which seeks to improving the effectiveness of the justice system in providing protection for victims of domestic abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice, and strengthening the support for victims of abuse. Further details of the Bill are available here.