Domestic Abuse: The Hidden Cost Of COVID-19

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We are yet to fully understand the true cost of the Coronavirus pandemic to the UK economy, to businesses and to industries such as hospitality and tourism. It will be a long time before we can accurately assess the long term damage and yet a lot of those costs are being felt right now. But real-time costs and repercussions of the pandemic are not merely financial. They come in many different forms, and perhaps the most damaging is that of domestic abuse.

Living with the pandemic in 2020 has led to frustration and anger and an alarming rise in violence in the home. And in many cases this has come on top of domestic situations which were already witness to incidents of abuse.

The restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic have led to boredom, anxiety and isolation, and in extreme cases have led to poverty, health issues and addiction issues. In domestic situations which were already fraught and a scene of fear, instability and confinement, the ongoing pandemic has added even more stress with home-schooling, home-working and even furlough and redundancies. It is little surprise that the pandemic has become a ‘trigger event’ for domestic abuse, and with everybody stuck at home, even more children are being exposed to it and in some cases victims of it.

The increase in reports of domestic abuse

Even by the end of May, only two months into the original full lockdown, The Independent was reporting that various different emergency helplines were recording increases in calls up to 300%. Other metrics were also showing an increase, such as internet searches for abuse support networks and the number of domestic homicides.

As we know, abuse can be either physical or emotional, but so many cases in 2020 have been both, and alas, it is not necessarily just adults caught up in this. In 2019, 830,000 children in the UK were victims of domestic abuse.

This does not take into account the number of cases not being reported, and of course where incidents are reported, these are cases where the child is being adequately supported by one parent (usually the mother) to the extent that they will make a call on the child’s behalf. That is, sadly, not always the case. On average, a victim lives with abuse for two to three years before seeking help, and this can result in more than 50 separate incidents of abuse. And it is certainly common for children never to report what has happened, because they don’t necessarily know it is wrong or what options are available to them.

Inevitably, whilst you are living 24/7 with the fear of domestic abuse, there is a reluctance to speak out or break cover to report it. This is very common, but if you are aware of abuse happening, either to yourself or a family member, there are things you can do to prepare the ground for when you are ready to reach out or report the abuse.

An important tool in reporting domestic abuse

The information-gathering tool from ONRECORD is a discreet, effective and efficient way of recording incidents with key details, with dates and times along with supportive evidence such as photos, to ensure that a pattern of abuse can be proved. This can become an important accumulation of facts and is something you can start to do at any stage. Evidence gathered and stored confidentially and securely on ONRECORD offers you the comfort of knowing that you are working towards an end result of ending the abuse, even if starting to gather the evidence is just the start and the critical decision to act may still be some distance away.

In situations where you or a family member – or both – feel trapped, isolated and afraid, the ONRECORD evidence-gathering tool is a way in which you can privately, securely and confidentially take action and prepare yourself with confidence that you are moving towards solving your situation. Gathering the evidence is a crucial first step in allowing you to deal with abuse and to preparing to talk to someone close to you or approaching the relevant authorities.

The ONRECORD evidence-gathering tool is an important part of that process, so get yourself prepared and make a start in ending an intolerable situation. Further local restrictions suggest the pandemic is not going away any time soon, so make a stand and start your process of fighting back today.

Sign up to ONRECORD today.

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