Following the announcement from domestic abuse charity Refuge that the National Domestic Abuse Helpline has seen a 25 percent increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown, Bishop John Sherrington, of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales domestic abuse working group, commented:
‘At this time of national emergency, we are being asked to stay at home to save lives, but for those who are experiencing domestic abuse, the home is far from being a place of security, self-fulfillment, and health. Too often it is a place of pain, fear, degradation, and isolation. There are many for whom the call to stay at home will be dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
‘The abuse inflicted includes many forms of violent and non-physical intimidation such as persistent verbal abuse, emotional blackmail and enforced social or financial deprivation. There is a risk that such abuse, which usually occurs behind closed doors, could grow and worsen during this time that we are being asked to be socially distancing from others.