Coronavirus Tales - “Don’t blame the pandemic….domestic abuse on the increase”
On the 16th March 2020, the UK found itself under national lockdown when Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary made the decision that all social contact should cease. By the end of March well over 100 countries worldwide had instituted either a full or partial lockdown, affecting billions of people.
However, signs soon started to show not just in the UK but globally that there was an increase of domestic abuse during lockdown. Reports in June from the UN showed that cases had increased by 20% worldwide, calling it a “shadow pandemic” alongside Covid-19.
Nationally, more than 400,000 calls and contacts had been made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline within the first 3 months of lockdown, most by women seeking help. The Mankind Initiative, a well established charity in the UK, offering support to male victims, reported a 35% increase in calls compared to pre-lockdown period. Whilst searching for figures and the impact of domestic abuse within the LGBT community there does not seem to be any up to date figures available for during lockdown. However, reports from Stonewall, an LGBT rights charity in the UK have indicated that Covid-19 has deepened inequality and that the LGBT community are at an elevated risk of domestic abuse and family violence. We do know that pre-lockdown reports of domestic abuse within the LGBT community continue to be underreported.
Domestic abuse is not caused by the pandemic but a symptom and we have seen victims and children trapped at home with the abusers. As such domestic abuse charities and the Police have been put under enormous pressure to ensure victims and their children have safe exit strategies.
Domestic abuse isn’t just a national problem but a problem worldwide with the abusers taking full advantage of the lockdown to continue to control and abuse their victims….About the author: Pauline Fynn has workied in Probation & Rehabilitation for the past 10 years within both the NPS and CRC environments in London and the South East.
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Images courtesy of Sydney Sims (https://www.behance.net/srsims2018fe6e?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash)