Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge for this country, it also poses a major additional risk for at least 2.4 million people who are victims of, or are vulnerable to, domestic abuse and violence whilst they are self-isolating in an unsafe environment or potentially dangerous household, with no escape from their perpetrator.
Globally, governmental efforts to disrupt COVID-19 through extensive ‘lockdowns’ have led to a surge in domestic abuse incidents in many countries – in China, incidents increased by a third during the outbreak and that trend has been mirrored in Italy and Spain.
Since the lockdown began in the UK, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by the charity Refuge, has seen a 49% increase in calls and online requests for help. Similarly, Women’s Aid reported a 41% increase in use of the charity’s live chat service. It is a very challenging time for all service providers to be able to ensure that victims are able to receive the support that they need.
With the length and scale of lockdown remaining uncertain going forward, this Policy Foresight online seminar will bring together key partners from local authorities, police, health, third sector and other statutory agencies to discuss the key issues facing the sector and explore innovative solutions to support victims of domestic abuse during this difficult time.
Resource - 3rd March 2020: Domestic Abuse Bill 2020: Factsheets
Latest News - 3rd March 2020: Enhanced Domestic Abuse Bill introduced to Parliament
Latest News - 11th April 2020: Home Secretary outlines support for domestic abuse victims
Latest News - 2nd May 2020: Emergency funding to support most vulnerable in society during pandemic
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