Charity launches campaign across Derbyshire after concerns of potential domestic abuse rise during Covid-19 lockdown

Published on: Tuesday, 28th April 2020

As more people are isolated during the Coronavirus pandemic, the charity Crimestoppers is working with Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire County Council to launch a new campaign across the County appealing for information from people who are aware of Domestic Abuse happening to friends, family, work colleagues or neighbours.

Domestic Abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial.  It affects one in four women and one in six men during their lifetime.  It's estimated that a typical victim endures up to 35 assaults before speaking up, and in some cases results in death.

Often neighbours, family and friends may be suspicious, but are reluctant to get involved because of embarrassment, split loyalties or fear of revenge.  As an independent charity who has helped millions of people over the years, Crimestoppers is asking those with concerns to pass on what they know whilst staying 100% anonymous.

Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "It's desperately sad that another shocking effect of Covid-19 is that vulnerable people are more at risk of abuse in these challenging days.  I am determined that we do whatever we can to provide support when it is needed.

"I would urge members of the public to report any concerns so that help can be directed to those who cannot speak for themselves.  These are difficult days and we must tackle the problems together."

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said: "We're joining forces with the Police, the OPCC and Crimestoppers to address the potential rise in domestic abuse during the lockdown.

"This is an abhorrent crime and we need Derbyshire residents to be our eyes and ears on the ground and report anything suspicious.  The authorities can then take the correct action.  With all of us working together in this way we can protect those most vulnerable to harm."

Lydia Patsalides, East Midlands Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: "With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing people to stay in their homes, our fear is that rates of domestic abuse will rise. "It's shocking to think that even before the current situation, two women a week were killed by a former or current partner. This is a serious crime that leaves victims feeling trapped, alone and powerless.  They are often too scared or vulnerable to seek help or speak out.

"To be isolated during this lockdown in an abusive household must be terrifying, and you must feel so alone, that there is no one to help you.  This is where we as a community can step forward.  Often in cases of Domestic Abuse, the community knows something, but struggles to know what to do to help.

"You can contact us here at Crimestoppers, we will take your information and pass it on, and no one will ever know you called. Our charity's UK Contact Centre is open 24/7 on freephone 0800 555 111 or visit our website and fill in our simple and secure anonymous online form.

"Every day over a thousand people trust Crimestoppers with their anonymous information.  Together, we can help stop domestic abuse and prevent more people from experiencing potential violent or lethal harm in the home.  You could save victims from abuse, children from living in fear, you could save lives." 

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