Described by some as an ‘epidemic beneath a pandemic’, the fact reports of domestic abuse have soared in the midst of the UK’s lockdowns is well documented.
An average of 13,162 calls and messages were made to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse helpline every month between April 2020 and February 2021 – up more than 60 per cent on the beginning of 2020. And it is a picture experts warn will not simply disappear now Britain is once again beginning to open up, with many abusers having learned to take advantage of our collective isolation and reliance on technology for communication.
“Many women with abusive partners will have been experiencing highly controlling and coercive behaviour,” explains Lisa King, director of communications at Refuge. “This can take the form of economic abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse or even stalking, often perpetrated through the tracking or monitoring of their phones or other devices, as well as other abuse via the misuse of technology.”
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