COVID 19 has meant that there has been a rise in complaints of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can take many forms and can include emotional, psychological, financial and mental abuse as well as physical.
Many victims are breaking their silence by contacting the police and seeking refuge in domestic abuse shelters. Whilst more complaints are being reported, it has meant a stretch on resources from availability of refuges, to other support services. Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on 11/4/2020 that the Government are providing £2M funding to boost online services and helplines for Domestic Abuse at this vital time.
The Government have also confirmed that an exception to the ‘stay at home’ isolation instruction applies to those who need to leave their home if they are at risk of, or to escape domestic abuse.
Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse for more information.
If anyone feels they at risk of abuse, please remember that there is help and support available. As well as online services and helplines, you can contact your local Police (ring 999 then 55 to be directed to someone who can help) and seek legal advice to discuss getting urgent protection. In this situation, immediate help will be needed and mediation will not be appropriate but if other issues arise, such as the need to discuss child arrangements or financial matters, once protection is obtained, it may be appropriate to mediate (although not in all cases) if you wanted to.
We can discuss your options with you, and signpost you to an expert family law solicitor and other support services you need. Visit our holistic services page on our website and contact us for further information.