Domestic Abuse in Lockdown?
26th May 2020 by Jonathan Talbot
This is a difficult and worrying time for everyone, but particularly for those who suffer from domestic abuse.
Unfortunately, we have recently seen a surge in these cases.
With isolation and social distancing, victims have less access to family or friends support, so are struggling to find relief from the coercive control they are being subjected to whilst confined at home.
Domestic abuse can be defined as being ‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.’ Association of Chief Police Officers
It is not uncommon for domestic abuse to continue within a relationship for many years. Repeated cycles of offending behaviour from the abuser take place, which they apologise for and promise will not be repeated, only the cycle does get repeated, and often gets worse over time.
Victims can end up with a distorted view of what has taken place, with the abuser manipulating the victim into believing they are to blame for the situation and what occurred, and deflecting all responsibility from themselves.
Children can unwittingly become victims, and witnessing the abuse of a parent over time they adapt their behaviour to avoid further incidents. In addition, as adults, they are more likely to become abusers or think abuse is a normal part of relationships.
The realisation of the damage that abuse can do to a child is often the catalyst needed for the victim to seek help.
What should you do if you are a victim of domestic abuse?
If you feel you are in immediate danger, you should call the police.
This will also provide you with further evidence should you wish to pursue one of the options available through the courts to protect yourself from your abuser moving forward.
During Covid-19, the local authority have made accommodation available for victims of domestic abuse even though these may not be located in the refuges that are usually used for such purposes.
Laceys have specialist family lawyers who can help domestic abuse victims and are able to offer legal aid to those victims who are financially eligible.
To be eligible for Legal Aid, you will need to meet a certain criteria, full details of which can be found here. During Covid-19, although the strictness for proving certain events have occurred to obtain legal aid has been temporarily lifted, it is still a daunting process to navigate through and Laceys can guide you through what is needed to qualify.
Through years of helping victims get to the other side of domestic abuse, we leave you with an insight from the head of our family department, Jonathan Talbot, which will hopefully help you seek advice should you need to.
Whatever the nature of the abuse, the relief we see in the victim once they have reached out for help is often overwhelming, not only of release but also levels of happiness and wellbeing previously unimagined. Remember, no one deserves to be abused.
If would like to talk to anyone with regard domestic abuse , please contact a member of our Family Team who will be more than happy to assist you.