Britain- domestic violence and abuse cases on the rise

 Domestic violence cases alarmingly increased as the second coronavirus lockdown imposed

The numbers of domestic violence and abuse cases are once again on the rise as the UK government has imposed second lockdown after the surge in the coronavirus infections. During the lockdown period the family members are spending most of their time at homes.   Distressing figures have revealed that a woman or girl is killed in Britain every 36 hours due to domestic violence. The number of female deaths from this type of crime is now at its highest since 2006.

Up to March 2019, there were 241 women and girls that were victims of murder or manslaughter during the 12 months previous. This is an increase of 21 from the year before. Of the 214 adult victims, 80 women died at the hands of their partner or former partner, increasing by 17.

If the situation was bad enough before the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become worse after the imposition of lockdowns. The England is going through the second lockdown these days.  The domestic abuse and violence cases were increased at alarming pace during the first lockdown.  

With England little over a week into its second lockdown, shocking new statistics have revealed that calls to domestic abuse helplines are surging, and the first lockdown saw nearly 50 suspected domestic killings.

The charity Refuge has raised the alarm about rising reports of domestic violence, saying it is very concerned about a spike in demand for the National Domestic Abuse helpline, which it operates.

Refuge said that perpetrators of domestic violence have proven to be adept at using coronavirus restrictions to abuse and intimidate. It added that abusers were increasingly using smart door locks, webcams, and social media, or sharing revenge porn, to target their victims.

The figures from the Metropolitan police, who are investigating a rise in the number of domestic abuse offences committed by female family members show that domestic abuse offences committed by sisters have doubled from 641 in 2010 to 1,325 in 2018. The numbers have quadrupled for stepsisters and half-sisters from 33 to 142.

The figures were uncovered by the London assembly as part of an investigation into abuse that found a 300% increase in half-sisters, grandmothers and stepsisters as offenders. The UK’s largest domestic abuse charity Refuge, reported a 700 calls a day to its helpline in a single day during the first lock down.   

According to research by Dr Jonathan Caspi, a clinical social worker, sibling abuse is most common in dysfunctional, neglectful or abusive homes where parents fail to correct abusive behaviour. Caspi’s research also found that 60% of children who witnessed abusive behaviour between their parents later acted it out on their siblings.

The killings during the lockdown are also on the rise. It comes as fresh data from the Counting Dead Women project identified 35 murders, and another 12 cases strongly suspected to have been linked to domestic abuse in the UK during the first lockdown.

The number of killings was found to be conspicuously steep in the opening period of the first lockdown, before gradually tapering down to levels similar to what was recorded in previous years.

The National Domestic Abuse helpline recorded a sharp rise in calls since restrictions were tightened in England last week. Despite the sudden surge, the numbers have not yet reached the levels witnessed during the first lockdown, when more than 40,000 calls were made in just three months.

“The experiences faced by women during the first set of lockdown restrictions should serve as a wake-up call as we continue through the next stage of lockdown and Covid-19 response,” Refuge spokesperson Lisa King told the Observer.

“What we know is that demand for our services rose significantly earlier this year – and early signs show that could well be repeated.”

                                                            Rukhsana Manzoor deputy Editor


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