Women’s Aid: A surge in domestic abuse | Davis Blank Furniss

Kirsty Morbey, Partner in our Family team

discusses the Panorama and Women’s Aid investigation which discovered a surge in domestic abuse during lockdown.

Back at the start of lockdown, I wrote a blog post about how we all had to be more vigilant in spotting the signs of domestic violence in our communities as there were substantial fears as to how lockdown would impact upon the victims of domestic abuse.

Unfortunately, a recent joint investigation by Panorama and Women’s Aid has discovered that these fears were correct.  The research revealed that two thirds of women in abusive relationships suffered more violence from their partners during the pandemic.  This is evidenced from police statistics, which showed that there was a call to them every 30 seconds claiming domestic abuse during the first seven weeks of lockdown. Three quarters of victims have also stated that lockdown made it far harder for them to escape their abusers.

It’s not just women who have been affected as the research revealed that calls to Respect Men’s Advice Line increased by 65% during the first three months of restrictions.

The sort of calls the police received included alleged various violent offences, such as kidnap, strangulation, arson, revenge porn, rape and poisoning.  One victim, who was spoken to by the investigation team, claimed that her husband had raped her over 100 times during the lockdown period.  She reported that her husband saw it as an open invitation to behave as he pleased towards her as he felt that no-one would know what he was doing. Many abusers used the lockdown as a means of controlling of their victim.

When lockdown was announced, many domestic abuse charities shared their fears and the government put £2million of additional funding in place and launched a nationwide social media campaign to raise awareness and to encourage people to report abuse.

Unfortunately for some victims, this was not enough and the abuse and fear have only intensified.  During the three weeks that it took for the ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign to be launched, 11 women, two children and one man were killed in alleged incidents of domestic abuse.

There are real concerns that if there is a second spike of the virus, and further local or national lockdowns are ordered, then more vulnerable people will be in danger.  If these do happen then there clearly is a community obligation to try and support and help victims to try and escape their abusive situation.

If you are in an abuse relationship, please reach out to organisations such as Women’s Aid , Refuge and Respect Men’s Advice Line which can help.

Kirsty is a Partner in our Family team. She can be contacted via: kirsty.morbey@dbf-law.co.uk or by calling 01457 860606.


Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google