DA worries surface amid Coronavirus crisis
Support organisations have voiced fears self-isolation and other measures to counter coronavirus (Covid-19) could make things worse for victims of domestic abuse.
“Home is not likely to be a safe place for survivors,” Women’s Aid said. “We are concerned that social distancing and self-isolation will be used as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour by perpetrators, and will shut down routes to safety and support.”
The agency intends to continue working during the coronavirus outbreak and does not anticipate any break in service. Its online support of live chat, the Survivors Handbook, emails and survivors’ forum carry on.
Sister organisation Refuge said: “We want to reassure women that the Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline is still operating 24 hours a day, and confidential support is available.” The number is 0808 2000 247.
Among other organisations on the front line, Devon and Cornwall Police says it will still seek domestic violence orders and prosecute perpetrators during the outbreak.
As families are expected to spend much more time together, it is generally accepted the potential for disputes will increase.
“Unfortunately we have to prepare for a rise in incidents of crimes such as domestic abuse that might go hand-in-hand with a period of mass isolation,” the region’s crime commissioner Alison Hernandez was quoted as saying by the Devon Live news portal.