Religious leaders have warned that domestic abuse victims in their communities face the greatest obstacles to getting help, and raised fears that the coronavirus lockdown was causing such violence to soar.
Figures from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Sikh communities said they had heard reports of abuse in the home ranging from psychological and physical violence to spiritual abuse during the Covid-19 emergency.
Campaigners have previously warned there would be a spike in victims fleeing their abusive partners as lockdown eases, with support services, already struggling to make ends meet, being hit with an even higher demand.
A joint statement, signed by leading figures from a range of faith-based domestic abuse charities, said women in faith and black and minority ethnic (BME) communities stay with abusive partners for longer than women in the wider population and are less likely to access support.
“We cannot ignore that there are perpetrators within all our faith communities,” the statement says. “At our best, our faith communities nurture healthy relationships and strengthen society. The home exists alongside our churches, mosques, synagogues, gurdwaras and temples, to enable growth within both faith and our local communities”.