COVID-19 and domestic abuse - don't suffer in silence

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Published on 23 April 2020
Archived on 23 May 2020


Don't be afraid to talk to someone if you are suffering from domestic abuse.

That is the message from Warwickshire Police which is urging people not to suffer in silence during the CoVID-19 pandemic.

The ongoing restrictions mean some people may feel trapped at home in a violent or abusive relationship and isolated from support while others who have not previously been victims could find themselves subject to domestic abuse.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you don't need to stay at home. Police response and support services remain available at this time.

The force is committed to tackling domestic abuse and our officers continue to be proactive every day by arresting perpetrators and supporting victims.

Refuge - Warwickshire's Domestic Violence Service - can help provide advice and support to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire.

They can be reached by calling 0800 408 1552 or emailing DVSW@refuge.org.uk but always call 999 in an emergency.

During the ongoing pandemic Warwickshire Police is also encouraging people to check in with their family, friends, and neighbours and speak out if they suspect they may be a victim of domestic abuse.

Now, more than ever, it is important for people to look out for one another to ensure no-one is feeling alone.

Detective Inspector Tony Hibbert, head of the force's Domestic Abuse Unit, said: "Our message is simple: we are still here and we will do everything we can to support victims of domestic abuse.  Being in an abusive household during this lockdown must be terrifying with victims feeling isolated, alone and as if no-one can help them.  Domestic abuse remains a force priority. It is never acceptable and self-isolation does not keep you safe if you live with abuse. You do not have to stay at home.  Equally we would encourage people to look out for one another so victims don't have to suffer alone.

"If you know or suspect that a friend, neighbour, colleague or relative may be a victim of domestic abuse, we urge you to speak up, get in touch with police or encourage them to contact us or other support agencies.  Often in cases of domestic abuse, people are aware there is abuse going on but they don't know what to do to help. Give them a call, send them a text or get in touch some other way just to check they are okay.

"Remember you are not alone and you do not have to suffer in silence - help is available."

Key contacts:

Refuge - Warwickshire's Domestic Violence Service
Phone - 0800 408 1552
Email - DVSW@refuge.org.uk

Always call 999 in an emergency.


What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is categorised by any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • sexual
  • financial

Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality or social background. If you are suffering from physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse, or are being threatened, intimidated or stalked by a current or previous partner or close family member, it's likely you're a victim of domestic abuse.

The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically, just one encounter counts as abuse, and it can be an ongoing pattern of behaviour. However, the one constant element of domestic abuse is the abuser's consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the victim.


Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 23/04/2020

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