Help offered to Banbury area residents experiencing domestic abuse during lockdown

Domestic abuse is on the rise during the coronavirus lockdown and Oxfordshire County Council has offered advice to anyone unable to manage their situation.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 13th April 2020, 12:33 pm
Updated Monday, 13th April 2020, 12:34 pm
Help is available for those experiencing domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture by Getty Images
Help is available for those experiencing domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture by Getty Images

The advice is being shared by the council and partner organisations in recognition that coronavirus movement restrictions will be having a direct impact on many individuals and families.

Domestic abuse hotlines have experienced big increases in calls from women and men since the lockdown began.

Existing abuse can escalate because of stress, anxiety, and other challenges, while widespread health concerns and job losses may mean some people experience or use domestic abuse for the first time.

The council says the Home Secretary has confirmed that anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse can leave and seek refuge, despite restrictions on movement.

Refuges remain open and the police will provide support to all individuals who are being abused - whether physically or emotionally.

Oxfordshire’s domestic abuse services continue to offer support and can help people at risk by finding safe alternative accommodation or by increasing safety measures to enable them to remain at home.

The county council is working closely with partners to ensure those at risk of domestic abuse are able to access the help they need to be safe.

Sarah Carter, Strategic lead for Domestic Abuse, from Oxfordshire County Council, said: “It is more important than ever that Oxfordshire residents have access to information and support.

“Social distancing, isolation and shielding measures mean people suffering domestic abuse are less able to reach out for help. This means we all have a role to play in protecting those at risk; looking and listening out for our neighbours, friends, family and others in the community.”

How and where to get help and support:

Anyone in immediate danger should phone 999 or if in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999 and then press 55. This will transfer the call to police, who will assist without the caller having to speak.

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services offers free advice on 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10am-7pm). Email [email protected]

Alternatively, call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247.

Anybody worried about causing harm to the ones they love can get help by contacting Respect Phoneline - 0808 802 4040.