Contacts to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s helpline about the impact of domestic abuse on children have increased during the coronavirus outbreak.
In a 10 June update, the NSPCC said 1,500 adults had contacted the helpline (0808 800 5000) about the risks to children since the lockdown started on 23 March.
Calls increased by 32% compared with earlier in the year to around 185 a week, an average of around one an hour. Contacts were at their highest-ever level in May.
Of the calls during lockdown, 58% led to referrals or a referral update to the local authority. In some cases, fears about the virus were exploited to withhold access to children, cut off contact to family and friends, and monitor movement under the pretext of keeping them safe from the virus. Those affected said this made it difficult to leave and speak out, according to the charity.
“This crisis has shone a spotlight on children who are living with the daily nightmare of domestic abuse,” said senior policy and public affairs officer Emily Hilton.