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A lecturer from the University of Salford says people are at an increased risk of domestic abuse due to lockdown restrictions.
Dr Jane Kilby, who has a PhD in Women’s Studies, said there’s less opportunity than usual for women to access the help that they need.
“Domestic violence is complicated and the important thing is to ensure that we can all talk about it at any time without being worried about what we say,” she said.
Statistics released from Greater Manchester Police have shown that there were more than 46,000 cases recorded and solved last year alone in the Greater Manchester area.
Recent research from the BBC’s Panorama has shown that, over the pandemic, two-thirds of women in abusive relationships have suffered more violence from their partners and three-quarters have said that lockdown has made it harder for them to escape their abusers.
Dr Kilby says the picture of domestic abuse is complex.
“A fair representation is that women remain the majority of victims, and men the majority of perpetrators (regardless of the gender of their victims). Women are also subject to long years of abuse and at a frequency and severity for which there is no equal,” says Dr. Kilby.
A two-week campaign, 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence, is being run across the country this week, but Dr Kilby highlights the need for constant awareness all year round.
She said: “The risk is that we do not talk about it for the other 50 weeks of the year. The important thing is to ensure that we can all talk about it at any time without being worried about what we say.”
Samantha Fisher, CEO of Trafford Domestic Abuse Services, said: “The pandemic has increased opportunities for perpetrators to control family members, victims are having less contact with supportive family members, friends and support networks and whilst social media and telephone support is available, these are easily monitored by perpetrators.
“Not only have we seen a drastic increase in referrals into our service since March, but an increase in complex situations victims are facing. Services are here to support and no victim should suffer alone, in silence.”
Salford provides a range of services for all domestic abuse victims and survivors and can be found on the map below.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, you can get support from:
Police: 0161 856 5171 or 999
Salford Independent Domestic Abuse Support Service (SIDASS): 0161 793 3232 or Salford Women’s Aid Facebook Page
Galop – National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
Victim Support: 0300 303 0162
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
ManKind Initiative: 01823 334 244