Coronavirus has taken over the country with everyone having to change their daily routines and adjust their attitudes to social interactions. This is a huge change for everyone, and the impacts of these changes should not be taken lightly. However, it is important to note there is a pandemic on top of an epidemic in the UK at the moment. Domestic violence can be seen as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threating, degrading and violent behaviour. This can include sexual violence and is often by a partner or ex-partner.

In this current climate it is more important than ever to speak out about domestic violence. With the current COVID-19 crisis the nation is having to spend an unprecedented amount of time at home. This is a very difficult time for everyone with our normal lives being put on hold and having schedules changing dramatically. The UK’s largest domestic abuse charity has reported a 700% rise in call to their helplines every day.

Although this quarantine is meant to keep us all safe that is not the case for those who are at risk of domestic violence. Having to spend all of this time at home is causing tensions to rise across the UK. The normal routes of escape for victims are now closed, with nowhere to go or escape. This is why we need to find a solution and quickly. If you are experiencing domestic violence it is important to know that you aren’t alone even if you can’t leave the house as normal there are still people who care for you.

The amount of domestic violence cases are rising during this quarantine. With 173 people dying from domestic violence every year. We need to act now so that 2020 figures aren’t even higher due to COVID-19.

Everyone can do something by just checking in on your friends and family during this time through videocalls and texts. If you suspect something but they won’t speak to you about it point them in the direction of help.

Women who are victims of domestic violence are speaking out to raise awareness during lockdown. As of the start of lockdown 14 women have been killed due to domestic violence and that number is going to continue to increase. Women across the US and the UK have been posting photos of the domestic violence they have experienced to raise awareness. As helplines have seen a 49 percent increase in domestic violence linked calls. MPs are now calling for the government to put in action plans to help those experiencing domestic violence in lockdown. The commons home affairs committee warned the emotional, physical and social scars from domestic abuse can last a life time. If we don’t act to tackle it now, we will feel the consequences of rising abuse during the coronavirus for many years to come. The government has acknowledged that the order to stay home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic violence, so the government has chosen to fund several charities who can provide advice and support. There is never an excuse for domestic violence, no matter what the circumstances.

The coronavirus is seen to have a huge impact on domestic violence all across the world. The UN has warned that women in poorer countries and smaller homes are more likely to have fewer ways to report abuse. So as the UK has the facilities available to help those victims of domestic violence, it is important to raise awareness of the problems and the facilities available for those people.

If you are experiencing domestic violence speak to someone you are close to or one of the helplines below.

Refuge

08082000247 – https://www.refuge.org.uk/

Girls & Women Network

08088010660- https://www.wgn.org.uk/

Galop

08009995428 – http://www.galop.org.uk/

Victim Support

08081689111 – https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/

Respect Men’s Advice Line

08088010327 – https://mensadviceline.org.uk/

Post by Hannah Prosser

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