COVID-19 and Domestic Violence – Update

Sadly the predictions and fears raised in our recent article, Covid 19 Leads to an Increase in Domestic Violence, linking the COVID-19 lockdown to an increase in domestic violence have proved to be correct.

In the last two weeks Refuge, the charity which campaigns against domestic abuse and violence, has reported a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help to its advisers manning the National Domestic Violence Helpline. Visits to the Helpline website seeking information were also 150% higher than in the weeks prior to the coronavirus lockdown. Here at Bretherton Law, our Child Care Team have witnessed an upsurge in cases.

Sandra Horley, Chief Executive of Refuge, said: “while in lockdown or self-isolation, women and children are likely to be spending concentrated periods of time with perpetrators… Domestic abuse isn’t always physical – it’s a pattern of controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour, which can also be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual.” Men can also be victims too, of course.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed that domestic abuse victims are permitted to leave their home to seek help at refuges, despite the government measures limiting social movement in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Ms Patel also highlighted the added danger faced by children due to the closure of their schools, commenting: “millions of children are spending more time online than they otherwise would have and may be even more vulnerable to online predators”. She added that the government was working with charities, schools and police to ensure parents and children know how to stay safe online.

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by domestic abuse or violence, these organisations may be able to help: BBC Information and Support Domestic Abuse 

If you are in immediate danger, you should dial 999.

It can be stressful and complicated when relationships break down. Bretherton Law’s experienced Family and Child Law Solicitors have been helping people with changes in their circumstances for over 50 years. We are members of Resolution and Accredited in Family Law by the Law Society. For honest, sympathetic advice call Atifha Aftab on 01727 869293, or use the form below.

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Covid-19 leads to an Increase in Domestic Violence 

Clare’s Law – the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme