We’ve all heard the reports and seen the appeals on TV and social media. We know that in addition to the practical, mental and physical strain everyone is facing during Covid-19, there is also a much more sinister and potentially deadly threat for some.
For these people home is not a safe place, and they are at increased risk from controlling and/or violent partners or family members while the country remains in lockdown.
Judith Vickress, National Development Manager at the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA)* reported on 20th April:
“At the time of writing this, 16 women and 2 children have been murdered inside or close to their homes”.
This sort of statement turns a worrying and distressing problem into a harsh reality and begs the question; what more can we do to help?
Well, housing associations and other agencies have their own responsibilities, but as individuals the advice seems to be….follow your instincts and recognise the signs.
If you hear something from a nearby home, for example screaming, shouting, slamming doors or see general damage, don’t ignore it - report it. You can tell us and we can investigate and pass on relevant information to other agencies. We may already be aware of an issue, but your information could be a crucial piece of the puzzle.
Domestic abuse is often misdiagnosed as anti-social behaviour, when really there is a lot more going on and survivors may be unable to prevent what is happening around them. Friends, family, neighbours, and community members can be a vital lifeline for survivors, even if they can’t ask directly.
So, if you are worried about a neighbour but not able to talk to them personally, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our dedicated website page for more information. You are not interfering or getting anyone into trouble but could potentially change, or even save, a life.