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The figures behind more calls to helplines during pandemic

The latest statistics prove people are contacting domestic abuse support services in greater numbers, as widely anticipated, during lockdowns and other measures imposed to counter coronavirus.

Those restrictions have left many victims trapped indoors with the perpetrator.

In the nine months from 1 April to the end of the year, calls and contacts logged by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline went up 34% year-on-year to 114,986.

The Respect helpline for male victims of domestic abuse saw calls rise by 39% over the nine-month period, while the charity’s helpline for perpetrators looking for help had a 62% increase.

The Galop-run national helpline for LGBT+ people received 5,011 calls, a rise of 36%, with contacts from 16- to 24-year-olds up by more than 50%.

The Karma Nirvana helpline for victims and survivors of so-called ‘honour-based’ abuse had a 79% increase during the first lockdown.

The figures were presented by designated Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicola Jacobs to Parliament’s home affairs committee when taking evidence on the prevalence of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic and adequacy of the government’s response.

Lisa King of Refuge, which runs the national domestic abuse helpline, was quoted by the Independent newspaper as saying: “Lockdown restrictions have given perpetrators of abuse unprecedented power and control, and our staff received an overwhelming number of calls from women and girls seeking support on how to stay safe, as well as from many who were disclosing abuse for the first time.”



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