Help is at hand for victims of abuse who feel 'cut off' during lockdown - The Rugby Observer

Help is at hand for victims of abuse who feel 'cut off' during lockdown

Rugby Editorial 9th Apr, 2020 Updated: 9th Apr, 2020   0

HELP and refuge are available for victims of domestic or child abuse during lockdown.

Warwickshire Police’s Chief Constable Martin Jelley has emphasised the force’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable while they are stuck at home.

He said: “Despite the force’s role in ensuring people adhere to government guidance around social distancing and staying at home, I would like to reassure people that our top priority remains protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Being forced to stay at home is proving challenging for everyone. However, it is even more so for victims of domestic abuse and child abuse.




“It may lead victims to feel cut off from the outside world and that there is nobody to help them. I’d like to reassure all victims of abuse that we are there for you.”

He said the force was committed to protecting and supporting victims, responding to concerns of abuse, and bringing perpetrators to justice.


“There is the potential for tensions to grow within households and people who have not previously been subjected to abuse may find themselves becoming victims. To those people I would say that one incident of abuse is one too many and you should contact the police.

“It is also likely children will be spending a lot more time online over the coming weeks. I’d urge parents to be extra vigilant; show an interest in the sites they are accessing and be aware that additional time online can increase risks to children.

“We are also aware that many elderly or poorly people may be struggling to get food and medicine during the lockdown. We are working closely with the county council and a hotline has been set up to ensure these people get the support they need.”

Agencies which combat domestic abuse in Warwickshire are still supporting victims of violence or controlling behaviour.

Anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse is still able to leave home and seek help. Refuges across the county remain open and the police continue to investigate all reports of domestic violence.

Help is also available from the Warwickshire Domestic Abuse Support and Accommodation Service, operated by national charity Refuge and co-commissioned by Warwickshire County Council and Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.

The dedicated helpline can put victims of abuse in touch with relevant services, including shelters and rape crisis centres.

Rachel Shuter, service manager for the commissioned Refuge service in Warwickshire said: “We are continuing to operate our helpline as normal, providing confidential, non-judgmental support from our team of trained advisors.

“We currently offer a call back option for those victims who find it difficult to use the phone while the perpetrator is still in the home. No one should ever have to suffer in silence, so please be assured that we are still here for you.”

Mr Seccombe added: “Not everyone will feel able to go to the police for help, so it’s really important that support services around the county continue to function.

“I’m reassured that all of the services have contingency plans in place to ensure they can continue to provide that vital help and support.

“As we all come together to help our local communities during the current crisis, we can also help play a small part in protecting friends, neighbours and colleagues. If you suspect they are suffering at the hands of a perpetrator, please do come forward to report it so that we get them the support they need.”

Visit www.refuge.org.uk or call the Warwickshire Domestic Violence Service on 0800 408 1552 for more information and advice for abuse victims.

Visit www.warwickshire.police.uk/domesticabuse for more information on domestic abuse.

Visit www.warwickshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/caa/child-abuse for more information on child abuse and how to report it.

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirusvulnerable for more information about support available for vulnerable people to access food and additional supplies.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Rugby Observer newspaper.

Printing

We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.

Advertising

Advertise with the Rugby Observer to reach your audience

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.