Coronavirus lockdown sees increase in domestic abuse calls across Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 07:42 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:07 24 April 2020
A countywide domestic abuse support service has seen a massive spike in enquiries during the coronavirus lockdown.
Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen call numbers rise by 13 per cent in the last month, with many people also contacting them via a new email service. Their website has seen a 33 per cent increase in visits over the same period.
Herts police are also dealing with a rise in domestic abuse cases, with officers equipped with personal protection equipment (PPE) attending reported incidents to ensure they continue actively protecting victims and pursuing protectors.
Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline chair Christine Roach said: “Coronavirus lockdown is not responsible for domestic abuse - people are. That’s what we all need to remember. What the lockdown has done is heighten awareness of issues which have been hidden in our society for years and years.
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“Home is meant to be a safe place but for many it is the opposite. Many victims are now trapped with their abusers in a pressure cooker environment. They can’t leave the house and can’t call for help. They may have children, who are also suffering through being trapped with the abuser.
“As a society, coronavirus has lifted the lid on what was happening behind closed doors and forced us to see what was ‘normal’ for so many victims and survivors. We hope a future ‘return to normal’ includes a continued commitment to rid our society of domestic abuse.”
Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline provides a confidential freephone service for anyone affected by domestic abuse in the county. Well-trained call takers will be able to signpost victims to the services which are most likely to be able to help. Call 08 088 088 088 Monday-Friday 9am-9pm and weekends 9am-4pm.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger please call 999 and ask for the police. If it is not safe to speak, use the Silent Solution and press 55 during the call which alerts the operator that you may be in danger.
A confidential email service – Kim@mailpurple.org – has been launched to support those who cannot or don’t want to make a call. Visit www.hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org for more information.
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