Domestic abuse – isolation is not an excuse
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Residents in Kent are being reminded that isolation is not an excuse for domestic abuse.
Kent Police has seen a slight increase in the number of reports for domestic incidents during the lockdown period compared to the same dates in 2019.
Between 16 March 2020 and 26 April 2020 there have been 4,024 reports of domestic abuse which is an increase of 34 crimes compared to the same period in 2019.
Deputy Chief Constable of Kent Police Tony Blaker said he wanted victims to know that despite the social distancing rules and instructions for self-isolation for the public, officers would still attend and investigate incidents.
With people spending more time at home, there is a risk that domestic abuse may be happening with victims and witnesses unable to report it as easily. Reports can be made in different ways, including by telephone, web chat and through online reporting.
He said: ‘During this Covid-19 pandemic, limited contact with the outside world may make you or someone you know feel unsafe but our specialist teams are here to help 24/7 in the same ways we always have done.
‘In Kent we have seen a slight increase in reports of abuse during the lockdown and we’re keen that all victims, their family and their friends know that the support Kent Police offers is still available as it was before the public health measures.’
Many forms of abuse
Domestic abuse can take place in many forms from people being frightened by the things their partners say or do, to victims feeling isolated and not in control of their finances, who they see or where they go.
Abuse is not just limited to intimate relationships and can take place between ex-partners and family members both young and old.
A dedicated Kent Police domestic abuse campaign during the lockdown has been launched online and on social media to raise awareness and encourage people to report incidents of concern.
DCC Blaker added: ‘These unprecedented times have seen incredible acts of community spirit and I would urge everyone to think a little closer to home and make sure they are a good neighbour.
‘Those living with domestic abuse can find it hard to reach out for help but if you think your neighbour or a friend may need police assistance do not hesitate to contact us.
‘Despite the lockdown, it is very much business as usual for Kent Police, particularly when it comes to helping the most vulnerable in our communities.’
Advice and support
Reports of domestic abuse can be made via 999 in an emergency or via Live Chat on the Kent Police website.
Free support not involving the police is also available from:
- Domestic Abuse Support Services in Kent and Medway
- Kent-based Victim Support
- The 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247
- The Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040
- Childline on 0800 1111