November 28, 2020 | Jasmine Frost
Surviving lockdown domestic abuse
Lockdown has been a struggle for all us in one way or another. Our guest blogger Jasmine Frost gives essential information on what domestic abuse is and how we can help each other.
Lockdown has affected our job prospects, heightened our anxiety or challenged our mental health. For thousands of women in the UK, lockdown means a greater risk of domestic violence.
Reporters have suggested that there has been an average increase of 20% domestic violence cases in the UK due to survivors being in lockdown with their. Two women die each week due to domestic violence. This demonstrates how vital domestic abuse support services are. By more people being aware of the services and support available, the less chance there is of this number rising.
Ladies, this blog is not here to scare you. It is here to educate and spread awareness, to teach us about the services which are available to us. It is also important to be aware of the warning signs to look out for to protect ourselves, our friends and family. Abuse does not always have to be in physical form. Not all survivors of domestic abuse have bruises. Domestic abuse comes under many forms. Financial abuse for instance, defining as the form of abuse whereby the woman is not financially independent, or they don’t have access to their own money. Another is coercive control. This form of domestic abuse was introduced as a new law in 2015, encompassing everything outside of physical abuse. For instance, isolation from your support system (cutting you off from friends and family), threatening assault (stopping someone from leaving a room), intimidation and humiliation. The final one we will discuss is emotional abuse. This form of abuse is commonly one that many women have experienced without being aware. One major example is the threat of suicide from the abuser.
There are numerous barriers stopping women from fleeing these situations, however the first step is to reach out to the services available. Just speaking to someone about your situation is a massive step and allows women to find the support they deserve.
Now ladies, the point of this post is to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE and there are services in place to support you and help you. And WayfinderWoman is here to show you some:
- Get in touch with WayfinderWoman; we are a local charity here to support and empower local women. We offer support and can direct you towards the right services if necessary.
- Speak to family and friends if you have a strong and trustworthy relationship
- Contact Refuge – they offer live chat and phone services for women to chat 24/7 https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/What-is-abuse 0808 2000 247
- Lotus Domestic Abuse Recovery Programme is set up by a local organisation delivering a 6-week programme supporting and empowering women recovering from domestic violence https://www.hses.org.uk/our-services/lotus/
- Google your local services if you don’t want to reach out to any of the above
- Police – you can dial 999/55 – if unsafe you can stay silent on the phone and your location will be tracked and officers immediately sent to your location
- MEN – Although this post has been gender-specific to women, we are aware that men can also be survivors of domestic abuse and there are services and support out there specified towards your gender. You can contact the men’s advice helpline who have a live chat and call services available https://mensadviceline.org.uk/contact-us/ 0808 8010 327
WayfinderWoman also represent on the Crown Prosecution Service scrutiny panel for Violence Against Women and Young Girls. This means we can take any concerns women have surrounding the reporting, response and services they received from the police and legal system. If you have any concerns you’d like to share, please get in touch with us at WayfinderWoman and we can help to implement change.
Mohan, M. . (2020). Coronavirus: Domestic violence ‘increases globally during lockdown’. Available: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-53014211. Last accessed 12th November 2020.
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