We find ourselves in strange times; for some, the government’s 'stay at home' message is an enforced period of reading and relaxing but for suffers of domestic violence and those at risk of abuse it is much more scary beyond the risk of catching COVID-19. We are seeing stories in the media that incidents of domestic violence are rising and some people are scared of being stuck at home with violent partners.
The reality of 'lockdown' in a violent relationship
The lockdown gives a violent partner the opportunity to extend control over another person’s life, who they can and cannot see and speak to. Those who do suffer violence are also scared of going to GPs or hospital to seek the medical attention they might need. Local communities have done wonders setting up support networks; people can come together in times of need.
A lot of charities are seeing an increase of volunteers staffing phone lines for both abuse mental health advice.
Escaping an abusive relationship during COVID-19
Those who have recently got out of an abusive relationship and to the relative safety of a refuge may now be feeling very vulnerable, living in shared accommodation with strangers. This week the government published updated guidance for domestic abuse safe accommodation settings. This is advice for both staff and people staying there on how to keep helping the most vulnerable, whilst also trying to isolate.
What can you do if you are abused or assaulted during the Coronavirus pandemic?
If you suffer injury or abuse as a result of a crime report the crime to the police, and the injury to your doctor (by a telephone appointment). You can claim compensation under the terms of the Government Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. You have two years from the date of the crime to submit the claim, and there is a strict requirement for the crime to have been reported to the police, as soon as reasonably possible. The scheme rules also require full co-operation with the police, so keep talking to them (on the phone and by email).
Everyone will have a different personal story to tell once the Coronavirus pandemic is over. If your personal story involves suffering injury or abuse there is help available for you.
The following charities have updated their websites in response to the problem of domestic abuse during COVID-19
Should you need to make a Criminal Injury Compensation Claim during the Coronavirus pandemic, we are operating our usual No Win No Fee CICA service. Please speak to us on 0113 320 5000 or email email@example.com