COVID-19 – Increased Support for Domestic Abuse Victims
For most of us, #StayHome is a message promoting safety, designed to encourage all to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus by limiting contact with others and restricting access to social spaces. However, for victims of domestic abuse, the #StayHome mantra may not carry a message of safety.
Since the UK-wide lockdown was enforced at the end of March in response to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls from those suffering in abusive situations in the home.
In response, the Home Office has launched a new campaign to help with the provision of additional support for victims of domestic abuse, granting an extra £2million in funds for the domestic abuse services.
These additional funds have been put into place in an effort to boost and strengthen services provided via helplines and online support as a matter of urgency, allowing those who are vulnerable to abuse to access the support they need, even during periods when it may be difficult for them to communicate on the phone.
The move follows Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a £750million package for charities during the pandemic, and is tied with the #YouAreNotAlone campaign, which will encourage communities to share their support and solidarity with domestic abuse victims in this particularly difficult time by displaying an emblem of a heart embossed in the palm of a hand in their window, and sharing the symbol on social media platforms. Social media adverts providing information on ways victims can seek help are also set to be launched.
How can I seek help as a victim of domestic abuse during the Coronavirus lockdown?
- Contact the 24-hour freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 2000 247
- If in immediate danger, dial 999 and make a report to the police. If you are in a situation where it could be unsafe for you to speak on the phone, dial 999 and press 55 on your keypad when prompted, and do not hang up.
At DRN, we operate an expert legal service for victims of domestic abuse. When working with a DRN solicitor, you can expect to receive continual support throughout your case. If you’d like to talk to a member of our team, please contact us on 01282 433241 and we will be more than happy to provide further information on the options that are available to you.