Whilst we’re being told that staying at home is our safest option, for many this isn’t the case. For people with an abusive partner, lockdown means captivity. Two women are killed every week by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone. For the estimated 1.6 million women and 786,000 men who experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales last year, the Coronavirus isn’t the biggest threat they are facing.
Increase in domestic abuse reports
Over the last two weeks, Avon and Somerset police force have already reported a 20.9% increase in domestic violence incidents, with other regional police reporting similar findings. Now, more than ever, is a time to look out for your neighbour. If you hear or see anything please report it and in an emergency call 999.
For further information and help call Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247 or email our domestic abuse team on firstname.lastname@example.org. Other local services are Southside – 01225 331243 and Voices – 01225 420249
Julian House domestic abuse refuge and female supported housing
Despite the Coronavirus, which has affected all of our services, we have been working hard to keep the Julian House domestic abuse refuge open in BANES and our women’s house in Exeter fully supported. These are a lifeline for the 15 women and the 14 children currently staying there at this time. (This figure will increase this week with new families needing support).
While they may be away from their abusive partner, life in refuge is difficult enough at the best of times but social distancing and self-isolation have made it nigh on impossible.
Amanda Movsesian in the Julian House domestic abuse team, said:
“Families live in one bedroom (an adult and up to 4 children). They have communal kitchens and bathrooms so social distancing is a challenge; only two of the Julian House refuges in BANES have gardens.
The families are unable to have friends or family deliver food or essential items to their door as, obviously, the addresses are kept strictly confidential.
All of these complications ensure that vulnerable women, men and children living in refuge feel even more isolated than normal. The families are already coping with PTSD, anxiety and depression all of which are hugely heightened by the everyday stress and trauma of the current climate.”
The small team are working hard to ensure we can support our families as best as possible, and are facing an increase in referrals.
Please help us by donating to our Corornavirus Appeal. Help us keep our life saving services open during these difficult times.