The move to a national lockdown has come as disappointing news to us all. For people in abusive relationships however, the prospect of spending more time at home will be far more frightening. Sadly, cases of domestic abuse have been on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic, with the highest incidences occurring during periods of lockdown.
This ecall provides more information on domestic abuse and the services that can help if you or someone you know is a victim of it.
Domestic abuse is a crime and a violation of an individual’s human rights, and has serious impacts on victims. Domestic abuse can be an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in most cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.
There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances.
According to the Office of National Statistics, approximately 1 in 20 adults are experiencing some form of domestic abuse. There will be people reading this ecall who may be experiencing, or be a perpetrator of, domestic abuse. If this is you, you are likely to be feeling stressed and worried as we enter the third national lockdown.
During lockdown, the Government has issued specific guidance about fleeing domestic abuse. The ‘stay at home’ guidance does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.
Witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse can have a serious impact on a child’s long-term health. It is a top priority that vulnerable children and young people remain safe during this uncertain period. If you are concerned that a child is at risk of harm, you should refer this information to children’s social care (01422 393336), or to the police (999) if you believe the child is in immediate danger.
If you are trapped in an abusive relationship and are worried about the wellbeing of your children or yourself, it is imperative you seek help. Similarly, if you are aware of someone who is struggling with domestic abuse, you can also seek advice on how to support them.
Services nationally and in Calderdale remain open and operational during the pandemic.
Domestic Abuse HR Policy – this policy contains links to internal and external support.
Calderdale Domestic Abuse Hub – 01422 337176
24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247
Bright Sky – a free mobile app providing support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship, or for those who are concerned about someone they know. It is available in five languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi, Polish and Welsh. Bright Sky can also be used by practitioners and can be ‘hidden’ from view of perpetrators.
In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or serious injury call 999. If you are concerned that a crime has been committed, call 101. You can also report domestic abuse on the West Yorkshire Police website.