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Increased use of domestic abuse helpline

Calls to Refuge’s national domestic abuse helpline have risen during the UK’s counter-coronavirus lockdown.

Before the Covid-19 crisis, calls and contacts averaged 270 a day. They went up to around 335 in the week beginning 30 March, the support organisation said.

After that increase of about a quarter was widely reported, calls to the 0808 2000 247 helpline shot up 120% overnight, the Press Association wire service reported.

Law Society president Simon Davis commented: “Social distancing has made it even more difficult for victims to get time away from their abuser to ask for help, leaving many trapped in an increasingly volatile situation.”
Describing the increased number of calls to the helpline as deeply concerning, he said they are compounded by lack of physical access to courts.

Refuge’s CEO Sandra Horley said: “Isolation is often used as a tool to abuse and while the current lockdown has the potential to exacerbate abuse, it is not the reason for it.”

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