The last 18 months have been challenging for everyone and, from our perspective, the pandemic has thrown an ugly light on the prevalence of domestic abuse in our society. Survivors may face many barriers when trying to access support, some of which have been heightened over the pandemic.
Challenges of Accessing Advice & Support
During the toughest restrictions everyone was required to stay at home, making it difficult for those experiencing domestic abuse to pick up the phone without alerting the perpetrator. We saw a rise in the numbers of people using other more discreet ways of accessing support, such as live chat or email.
As restrictions are lifted and life starts to return to some sort of normality, we expect to continue to see increases in people contacting us for advice and support. Despite these increases, we know that there will be many that will not have come forward for support due to the increased barriers lockdown has presented.
Harder to Access Doctors
We have done a lot of work with health professionals to help them to spot the signs of domestic abuse and to be able to signpost someone to support services. This is one avenue where people will be referred to Leeway or other specialist organisations for support, however, this has proved a lot trickier during the pandemic.
Many routine appointments have been conducted over the phone or online, making it a lot more challenging to spot the signs of domestic abuse and harder for survivors to discreetly discuss their situation. As a result, there may be many people who have been experiencing domestic abuse that have not accessed support during this time.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999. If it is not safe for you to speak, press 55 when prompted. This will alert the call handler that it is not safe for you to speak, but they will still be able to send support to you.
Leeway’s services are running as normal and can be accessed via:
We would like to remind people that the Live Chat service is not for fundraising, training, or donation enquiries and these should be directed to the relevant email addresses found on our Contact page.
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