During periods of lockdown additional risks apply to those experiencing domestic abuse. it will be an especially worrying time where people may well feel they have no- one to turn to and that they cannot leave if they want to.
Other countries have reported increases in DA reporting during the outbreak: a threefold one in China.
Already, in the last week there have been 9 domestic homicides in the UK.
Close proximity with alcohol freely available, even being delivered to peoples' homes, will inevitably lead to an increase in this crime.
What can we as friends and neighbors do?
at a time of social distancing and self isolation we need to rely on our eyes and ears: do you hear lots of arguments?
people are allowed to leave the house for shopping and exercise: is this happening?
Can you hear things being broken?
Do arguments stop suddenly?
are the children visibly upset or withdrawn?
if on the phone, can the person speak freely and on their own?
Never confront the perpetrator. never talk to the victim in front of the perpetrator . always call 999 in an emergency
let the person know you are a safe person to speak to, whenever it is safe for them to do so or are ready to
Choose a code word they can use if they feel they are in danger. if they use this word, ring the police
For a neighbour it couild be a signal such as moving a vase or putting the bin in a different place
if on the phone, always use yes or no questions. do not put the person in more danger by alerting the perpetrator.
in Stroud we have access to Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) (www.gdass.org)
whose helpline will be open throughout on 01452 726570.
they can also be contacted on:
GDASS continues to work hard with our partner agencies to ensure business as usual. We are still supporting existing clients and our helpdesk and online forms are still working for those who need support who may not have spoken to us before.
we can still help to get people out of abusive households, we can still help people get to a place of safety and we are still working closely with police to hold perpetrators of abuse to account
Within Stroud we are fortunate to have Stroud Beresford Group on 01453 764385 http://www.stroudwomensrefuge.org
National 24 hour Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000247