UK lockdown: Calls to domestic abuse helpline jump by half

Calls to a national domestic abuse helpline rose by 49% and killings doubled weeks after lockdown, a report by MPs has revealed.

Following the “surge” in violence, the report called for a government strategy on domestic abuse during the pandemic.

MPs also said “safe spaces”, where victims can seek help, should be rolled out to supermarkets and other shops.

The Home Office said it was increasing funding to support helplines and online services.

Researchers at the Counting Dead Women Project told MPs 14 women and two children had been killed in the first three weeks of lockdown.

The figure is the largest number of killings in a three-week period for 11 years and more than double the average rate, they said.

Meanwhile, the number of calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline run by Refuge was 25% above average in the second week of lockdown and 49% higher than normal after three weeks.

Without a comprehensive government strategy to cope with the consequences of this violence, the home affairs select committee said “we will be dealing with serious consequences for a generation”.

It said the strategy should include raising awareness, prevention, victim support, housing and a criminal justice response, supported with dedicated funding and ministerial leadership.

MPs have also called for more help to allow victims access support at times when they may be unable to use the phone or ask friends for help.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52433520

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