Calls to domestic abuse help lines have soared as victims are trapped with abusive partners during the lockdown. The charity Refuge, which runs a freephone helpline 24/7, has reported a massive increase in calls and on-line requests for help since the lockdown.
Our MP, Mark Menzies, has been pro-active in welcoming an extra £3 million pounds of government support for domestic abuse victims. This extra cash is being ring-fenced for domestic abuse helplines and on-line support for those needing help, and appropriate action plans.
Mr Menzies has announced, ‘I am pleased to see this funding, which will help these services ahead of the £75 million boost for charity organisations which is being put in place now by this Government. Domestic abuse charities can apply for further funding once that scheme is fully up and running. These are very difficult times and those living under the shadow of domestic abuse need our help now more than ever.’
However, the Victims’ Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, is now worried that many refuges have been forced to close due to staff self-isolating at home, an inability to meet social distancing rules or due to a loss of income from local supporters.
If you are affected by abuse ring the National Domestic Abuse Hotline on 0808 2000 247 or go to www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
Anybody requiring urgent medical or police assistance should call 999. For those at risk, unable to say over the phone what help is needed, they should stay on the line and when prompted by the operator dial 55. This will let the emergency services know that it is a domestic abuse incident and does not put the victim at further risk.