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Domestic abuse happens every day, all over the world, but there is growing concern that it is likely to increase during the lockdown period which the Government imposed on 23 March 2020.
Since the lockdown, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline has recorded a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help, and a 150% increase in website searches compared to activity in February 2020.
Domestic abuse is not always physical. It can be emotional, psychological, financial, sexual etc. It is important that people know that help and assistance is still available despite the lockdown measures. People must continue to report matters to the Police and seek domestic abuse assistance. The Government has provided guidelines online - if you feel in immediate danger you must call 999 and ask for the Police and then press 55. This will put you through to the relevant Police department which will help you without you having to speak/give information over the phone.
The family courts are continuing to operate. Under the Family Law Act 1996 a Non-Molestation Order and/or Occupation Order can be granted without prior notice to the perpetrator in very urgent cases or on notice in less urgent cases. A Non-Molestation Order orders the perpetrator to cease abusing the person who has obtained the court order and an Occupation Order excludes the perpetrator from the family home for a period of time. Refuges/shelters are still running helplines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call Refuge UK on 0808 2000 247.
There are also other services available such as: Women's Aid Live Chat which is available Monday to Friday 10am to 12pm (https://www.womensaid.org.uk/womens-aid-launches-new-live-chat-service). Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse. You can contact them on 0808 801 0327 or visit their website https://mensadviceline.org.uk/.
If you are worried that you may hurt someone you love, you can contact the Respect Phoneline on 0808 8024040 or you can visit their website https://respectphoneline.org.uk/ for support and help to manage your behaviour.
The important thing to remember is that you do not have to suffer in silence. Help is available.
For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.Back to Law Articles