COVID-19 and domestic abuse: Personal safety during lockdown15th May 2020 - Published by Kuits family team
Domestic violence continues to plague society in a variety of households in all corners of the UK and, for many people, home is not the safe haven that it should be. Many charities have reported that domestic abuse has surged since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, with the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, Refuge, even reporting a 700% increase in calls to its helpline in a single day.
If you or somebody that you know is enduring lockdown in an abusive relationship, be aware that help is available. Abuse in this context is not limited to physical violence and includes emotional and psychological abuse, as well as controlling or coercive behaviour.
The Government has made clear that it is reasonable for a person to leave their home if they are not safe there. Your local authority should be making details readily available for support networks and refuges.
In the event of an emergency, always call 999. You can then press 55 if you are unable to safely talk to the operator.
If your situation is not urgent but you require help, or if the police advise that they are limited in the options available to them, you may be able to seek a non-molestation order and/or occupation order from the family court to keep you safe. The Family Court is prioritising all urgent applications, including those intended to protect people from domestic abuse.
To speak to an experienced family lawyer in confidence about a non-molestation order and/or occupation order, call Madelaine Hailey on 0161 838 7824. For situations of this nature, we will call you back from a withheld number, and never email you or leave you a voicemail.