Britain's National Domestic Abuse Helpline get 25% increase call since COVID-19 Lockdown

"In the present climate, it's certainly tougher for ladies suffering abuse. Lines of communication might be severely limited if women are unable to go away the home", the domestic abuse charity Refugee says.

There has been a 25% increase of calls to Britain's National Domestic Abuse Helpline since the COVID-19 lockdown was implemented, consistent with the charity Refuge. BBC notes that Refuge, which manages the helpline, has received hundreds more calls compared to only fortnight previously, and this increase in requests for assistance is also reflected via the charity's website.

"1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse last year, and self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours by perpetrators", Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of Refuge said only a couple of days before the united kingdom was placed on lockdown by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"While in lockdown or self-isolation, women and youngsters are likely to be spending concentrated periods of your time with perpetrators, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse and further restricting their freedom", she added.

The figures reflect the difficult balancing act of competing priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand policing authorities routinely tell people to 'stay at home' and sometimes complain that they feel too many of us are getting to parks; on the opposite hand civil society groups have complained that authorities are being excessive and too rigid in their attempts to push some people back to their homes. As long as individuals are applying the social distancing guidelines of (2 metres/6ft) between themselves et al. that they do not accept , some critics argue, the authorities should be wary of shooing them back to their homes.

The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and therefore the College of Policing have released two sets of guidance for England's police forces on implementation of COVID-19 related laws. One guidance focuses on the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations and therefore the second deals with the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The second NPCC and College of Policing briefing makes no mention of vulnerable people or domestic abuse or violence. Though the briefing which addresses the Health Protection Regulations has one page which addresses "safeguarding".

"It might not be safe for everybody to be reception . Consider whether there are any safeguarding issues at play", the penultimate slide on the NPCC guidelines says. "For example, are you handling aspects of domestic abuse, maltreatment or mental health?", it asks police constables to ask themselves.

These guidelines mention their own problems, however, as people they engage with could also be seeking a period of respite from an abusive or hostile environment but might not be able to speak to anyone about it, least of all the police.

"Domestic abuse isn’t always physical – it’s a pattern of controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour, which will even be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual", Refuge explains when addressing the COVID-19 lockdown on its website. The charity also points out that, "isolation is already employed by many perpetrators as a tool of control".

People who think they'll be affected by domestic abuse can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 24 hours each day for free of charge on 0808 2000 247.

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