Hertfordshire County Council highlights the support available for victims of domestic abuse
The government's advice around social isolation and distancing, has created further opportunities for perpetrators to exert power and control over their victims
Support services in Hertfordshire have seen a drop in the number of calls, leading to fears that fewer victims are able to speak during the lockdown.
Measures put in place over the past few weeks to limit the spread of coronavirus have seen people’s lives significantly change and for those living with a perpetrator of domestic abuse, life may have become especially difficult.
You may also be increasingly worried about someone you know who is living with a perpetrator of domestic abuse.
Coronavirus is not responsible for domestic abuse, but the government’s advice around social isolation and distancing, has created further opportunities for perpetrators to exert power and control over their victims.
The wider consequences of the outbreak, including economically, will make victims even more vulnerable.
Hertfordshire County Council knows that the lasting impact on children and young people living in households with a perpetrator of domestic abuse is significant and are committed to ensuring they are protected too.
Jenny Coles, Chair of the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership, said: “The message from us is clear – dedicated support is available and domestic abuse continues to be a top priority. There is no need for anyone to suffer in silence because of coronavirus or the lockdown.
"We recognise that it is more difficult to reach out for support when the perpetrator is in the home, but we are working with services to create more discrete options for victims.”
Detective Chief Inspector Ben Wright, head of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit, said: “Evidence from other countries suggests that the number of domestic abuse reports may increase as the lockdown continues.
“While we have not seen a significant rise in Hertfordshire yet, we would like to reassure the public that if we do, we are prepared.
"We are continuing to respond to domestic abuse reports, provide support to victims and hold perpetrators to account, despite the lockdown and social distancing measures.
“If you are in immediate danger you should still call 999. If you feel you cannot speak, you can alert us silently by dialling 999 then pressing 5 5. You can also report non-urgent matters silently via our web chat service through www.herts.police.uk.”
David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “My message for anyone suffering from domestic abuse, or at risk of it, is that despite the lockdown there is still help and support you can call on."
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