Medway Labour Councillors support local charity whilst statistics reveal spike in domestic violence during lockdown

Luton and Wayfield and Chatham Central Labour & Co-operative Councillors have donated some ward improvement funding to Choices supporting survivors of domestic abuse in Chatham especially during pandemic covid 19 lockdowns.

Recent statistics reveal a rise in domestic abuse related offences reveal a huge increase in numbers of calls to support services.

The police recorded 259,324 offences flagged as domestic abuse-related in the period March to June 2020.

This represents a 7% increase from 242,413 in the same period in 2019 and an 18% increase from 218,968 in 2018.The number of offences flagged as domestic abuse-related increased each month from April to June 2020, with the largest month-on-month increase (9%) between April and May 2020.

This increase coincides with the easing of lockdown measures from 13 May 2020, when it may have been safer for victims to contact the police, painting a worrying picture for what the women’s sector have predicted will be another spike as we move out of lockdown again.

Siju Adeoye, Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Chatham Central states:

“I feel this Government must do more to provide the sustainable support these vital services need. It is crucial that if someone is able to take the step of reaching out for help, they are not turned away.”

In April, May and June roughly one-fifth of all offences recorded by the police were flagged as domestic abuse-related. Meanwhile between April and June 2020, Refuge’s Helpline team logged a total of 40,397 calls and contacts on its database, a 65% increase compared with the first three months of 2020.

Labour is calling on the Government to outline its plan to protect victims of gender-based violence and provide sustainable support for the women’s sector to help them cope with the rise in domestic abuse.

These appalling statistics show endemic levels of domestic abuse. The Covid crisis didn’t create this scar on our society, but it has made the situation even worse. It is shameful thousands of women have been turned away in their hour of need and the consequences can be catastrophic.

Joanne Howcroft-Scott, Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Luton & Wayfield, added:

“I am shock and horrific that daily two woman died at the hands of their partners. Constituents have told me it’s easy to talk to me as I am a woman and can actively listen and can signpost to support services. I would encourage anyone in a situation of domestic abuse to reach out for support.”

Choices are working towards a world where domestic abuse is fully understood as unacceptable, where all members of society can feel safe in their own homes and are able to enjoy healthy relationships free from violence.

Medway Times