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Lockdowns bring sustained rise in use of Refuge’s helpline

Calls and contacts logged on the National Domestic Abuse Helpline increased 61.0% to a monthly average of 13,162 between last April and February this year.

That compares with an average of 8,176 per month between January and March last year before the first of the counter-coronavirus lockdowns was imposed.

The statistics pull into “sharp focus the sheer number of women needing support,” said Refuge, which runs the helpline.

“This is a worrying trend, particularly as being isolated with an abusive partner is likely to have made reaching out for support more challenging,” it added.

Refuge said that during the pandemic its Helpline team received calls from women who were being terrorised in their own homes, women who were afraid to seek treatment for their injuries in case they overburden hospital staff, women whose court cases had been delayed, women making plans to flee the home, and women with no home to go to.

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