Isolation could mean more domestic abuse in West Norfolk

Isolation could mean more domestic abuse in West Norfolk

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Patrick Jack
8:00am 31st March 2020.

Charities say coronavirus isolation will lead to a rise in cases of domestic violence - on top of the thousands already reported in Norfolk last year.

They believe women and children are more vulnerable during periods of drawn-out stress in society.

In the 2018-19 period, there were 8,616 incidents related to domestic abuse recorded by Norfolk Constabulary. 

UN Women UK Executive Director Claire Barnett says despite this, a lot of incidents go unreported and that isolation will cause a spike:

"This is before we factor in those incidents where the victim will have told no one.

"Now - as many women will be struggling to find work and unable to maintain their financial independence - this will only worsen."

A number of other charities, including Women's Aid and End Violence Against Women have released a joint statement warning Covid-19 will have serious impacts:

"We know perpetrators will use infection control measures as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour.

"Access to support may also shrink further due to social isolation and those in poverty will be severely impacted.

"Decreased social contact is likely to have significant mental health impacts on the population and for survivors coping and recovering from trauma."

A government spokesman said they understand victims and survivors may feel even more vulnerable and urged anyone in immediate danger to call 999.

He added:

"Advice and support will continue to be available to victims.

"The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is staffed by experts 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and the Government has announced a £1.6 billion Covid-19 fund for local authorities to support the most vulnerable."