Need for domestic abuse support soars during lockdown in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 17:37 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:37 18 May 2020

The Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a confidential, free, support and signposting service which aims is to improve the lives of anyone affected by domestic abuse, including those seeking help to change their behaviour.

The Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a confidential, free, support and signposting service which aims is to improve the lives of anyone affected by domestic abuse, including those seeking help to change their behaviour.

Warren Goldswain

The number of people seeking help for domestic abuse in districts and boroughs to the east of the county has gone up by 90 per cent during the coronavirus lockdown, it has emerged.

SADA (Survivors Against Domestic Abuse) offers advice and support to anyone affected by abuse, in Stevenage, North Herts, East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield.

And at a meeting of the executive at Stevenage Borough Council on Wednesday (May 13) it was revealed that the number of referrals during the lockdown had increased by 90 per cent.

Seventy-eight individuals – many with families or children – are said to have fled from domestic abuse during April.

At the meeting of the executive council leader Cllr Sharon Taylor stressed that lockdown restrictions did not apply to anyone who feels trapped in an abusive relationship.

She said that there continued to be safe places available, for people to go while they considered their next step.

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And commenting on the 90 per cent increase in referrals, following the meeting she said: “This equates to 78 individuals, many with families or children fleeing domestic abuse during lock-down in April.

“This saddens me greatly but we are able to help those in need now, whilst also continuing to provide domestic abuse support to our existing clients.”

At the meeting executive member for community safety and equalities Cllr Jackie Hollywell said the service had managed to secure some more safe places for people to be able to leave their properties.

But she said she was concerned that Hertfordshire Constabulary had not reported a similar increase in cases reported to them.

And she said it appeared residents were raising concerns, but not reporting them to the police, which she said was “a bit of a worrying situation”.There are several resources for you if you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse.

You can call Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088 or visit their website: www.hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org. Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a confidential, free, support and signposting service for anyone affected by domestic abuse.

Alternatively visit www.hertssunflower.org – which also supports people who have been abused or people who know someone who has been abused.


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