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Calls to Respect rise in lockdowns

Respect’s helpline had 1,430 callers in the 12 months to March, a 27.3% rise on the previous year. The charity, which helps domestic abuse perpetrators wanting to change their ways, expects an increase when counter-coronavirus restrictions ease.

After stating the lockdowns had made things worse for those in unhealthy and abusive relationships, Respect’s head of services Ippo Panteloudakis said: “We need to refocus our efforts on putting the spotlight on the abuser’s behaviours.

“Of course we need to be supporting victims, but we also need to be working with the perpetrators and to help them realise what they’re doing is not helpful for them and their loved ones and to give them the chance to change their behaviours,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The majority, 84%, of perpetrators supported by Respect were men. Last year an estimated 1.6m women in England and Wales were victims of domestic abuse, with 757,000 male victims – a 68:32 split.

Victoria Atkins, the government’s minister for safeguarding, said: “We are clear that we can only tackle the root causes of domestic abuse if we hold perpetrators to account for their actions.

“This is why we are more than doubling the resources for tackling perpetrators this year, with £25m dedicated to supporting innovative new approaches to prevent domestic abuse.”

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