Domestic violence – the consequences of Lockdown
In a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government released a report outlining an increased risk of domestic abuse. The isolation measures put in place in response to the pandemic, would see many now finding themselves trapped in their homes with their abuser. With resources being stretched and limited, many have turned to helplines, online chat or have visited websites dedicated to helping those who are experiencing domestic violence.
Calls to the National Abuse Helpline, which is run by the Charity refuge, reported a 49% rise in early April when compared to the average calls prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Chayn, a website that specifically deals with gender-based violence, reported that visitors to their website had trebled during the lockdown measures when comparing the number of visitors to the same period the year prior.
These statistics are not limited to just woman. Men’s Advice Line saw an increase in calls of 16.6%. Similar charities saw the same trend when comparing their calls and web traffic in lockdown with the figures prior to lockdown.
Whilst the numbers have risen significantly, the true number of people suffering domestic violence during the lockdown period, may far surpass the reported numbers. These statistics are only representative of those who seek some form of help, many still suffer in silence. The set boundaries for acceptable behaviours are pushed by abusers, and often to a point where the abused does not recognise this abusive behaviour as abnormal or unacceptable anymore.
Defining patterns of abuse
It is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will suffer some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime.
There is no single crime of domestic abuse, however there are a few types of domestic abuse. The Government definition of domestic violence defines domestic abuse as ‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour or violence’.
Whilst it may be easier to determine physical abuse due to it being a deliberate act to inflict injury carried out by a perpetrator on another, sexual abuse and emotional abuse are not so easily defined which may go some way in explaining why some do not recognise behaviours they are experience, as abusive.
In cases of sexual abuse, the role of consent is extremely important and must always be given. If you feel pressured or forced in any way, you have not given consent.
Emotional abuse can include verbal abuse, intimidation, manipulation and constant criticism. If you have suffered mental injury due to emotional abuse, like in cases of physical and sexual abuse, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
If you are experiencing any type of abuse, firstly know that you are not alone. There are many services that offer free and confidential advice. National Domestic Abuse Helpline are available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247 and Men’s Advice Line are available on 0808 801 0327. If you are in lockdown with an abusive person and you are in immediate danger, dial 999 , wait to be connected, press 55 and hang up. This will send an alert to emergency services that you are in danger but are unable to speak and help will be dispatched.
How we can help?
Physical, Sexual and Emotional abuse cannot be excused and can all be classified as a crime. If you have experienced injury as result of any form of abuse, within the last two years, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
In 1996 The Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1996 created the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) which is an executive agency of the UK Government. The scheme administers compensation to those who have suffered injuries as a result of a crime.
We understand that making the first step towards seeking compensation can be very daunting. At Exclusive Law, we have highly trained staff, who are familiar with the law concerning domestic abuse. We will support you throughout the process of making a claim and will deal with it sensitively and professionally, without you having to pay any upfront fees.
If you want to take that first step to see if you may be entitled to compensation, we will offer you confidential, impartial advice. If you then wish to make a claim, we will guide you throughout the process.
Alternatively, if you want us to give you a call, visit our social media pages and drop us a message with your name and number and we will call you.