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.
The most detailed research into the links between the football World Cup and domestic abuse rates has revealed that in one force area in England and Wales, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won.
The research, by Lancaster University criminologist Dr Stuart Kirby, a former police officer, monitored police reports of domestic violence during the last three World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
While domestic violence rose after each England game, incidents also increased in frequency at each new tournament. Separate national research examining the 2010 World Cup echoed the Kirby findings – with domestic abuse reports up 27.7% when the England team won a game, and 31.5% when they lost.
Source: The Guardian June 14, 2014.
What can I do?
We know that on average, domestic abuse rises during World Cup season in the UK. As a charity that mobilises men, White Ribbon UK asks men to be active in stopping this from happening. Domestic abuse is not only tragic, it is illegal.
Football clubs will decide how best they can fulfil their responsibilities.
Organisations must send a clear message that violence against women and children is “completely unacceptable”, joining the chorus for equality and justice, and breaking the silence that surrounds violence against women and girls.
Clubs can also work through their Community Foundations to provide “positive role models to younger people in the community, encouraging healthy and non-abusive relationships”.
Stewards must be expected to challenge any sexist or homophobic remarks. Clubs can be encouraged to display the World Cup posters and other White Ribbon posters, which challenge abusive behaviour and sexism.
On average, those experiencing domestic abuse live with it for 2 to 3 years without seeking help
The Domestic Abuse Strategic Board launched the Let’s Be Clear campaign this week to coincide with both and the message is that domestic abuse is more than just physical violence, it includes emotional and psychological abuse. It can happen to anyone, from any background and support is available, for both victims and perpetrators who want to change.
If you are worried about being in an abusive relationship call Calderdale Staying Safe on 01422 323339 or visit calderdale.gov.uk/domesticabuse for free, confidential support.
CMBC are working with the White Ribbon Campaign and other agencies to reduce domestic abuse against women and you can get involved by attending the White Ribbon Campaign Event.
Wednesday 25 November – 9am to 12pm
The Shay Stadium, Shaw Hill, Halifax, HX1 2YS
A team of researchers based at the University of Huddersfield want to find out what people think about domestic abuse services in Calderdale.
They would like to speak to people who have used or who have chosen not to use domestic abuse services in the area so if you would like to talk about your experience’s you can contact them in confidence.
If you need advice and support about domestic abuse click here.