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DA charity criticises ‘hidden’ lockdown safety advice

Solace Women’s Aid has told the UK government’s Covid inquiry that messaging around lockdowns failed to make it clear early victims of abuse could leave their home to seek refuge.

The London-focused organisation was concerned no announcements mentioned domestic abuse until January 2021, ten months into the restrictions, Rebecca Goshawk, head of public affairs at Solace, said at the inquiry.

There was an exemption included from the first lockdown which enabled women and children suffering domestic abuse to access help, but that was hidden in guidance and regulations.

“We were getting women saying they didn’t know they could leave when they called us, and we actually had that across all three lockdowns … we felt that that messaging was too late,” she was quoted as saying by the Open Democracy news website.  “This was a message that needed to be there from the beginning.”

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