Domestic Abuse Calls up 25% and other news

Refuge charity homepage. Image: LMMNews screen grab

Domestic Abuse Calls up are by 25% since lockdown began.

A spokesperson for the charity Refuge says calls to National Domestic Abuse Helplines have increased by 25% since lockdown began two weeks ago.

Refuge had received hundreds more calls compared to pre-lockdown figures.

Domestic Abuse campaigners have warned that restrictions to movement and isolation measures could heighten rates and intensity of domestic abuse cases.

One anonymous victim, speaking to the BBC, said her life had become intolerable since the lockdown.

Another woman described how her situation had worsened: ‘It’s been bad. As soon as he gets up, he tries to cause an argument out of nothing…if I fire back he’ll just hit me.’

Domestic Abuse campaigner, Rachel Williams, has warned that the UK may see a dramatic spike in cases of domestic abuse and potential homicides.

Last  year 1.6 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse. Williams say:

While in lockdown or self-isolation, women and children are likely to be spending concentrated periods of time with perpetrators, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse and further restricting their freedom.

The charity Refuge will continue to run its 24 hour hotline to ensure victims of domestic abuse receive help during this challenging period.

Police are also urging victims to report their experiences and seek help from domestic abuse support services.

Domestic Abuse charity Woman’s Aid has linked with other support services to send an open letter to the prime minister, calling for an urgent strategy to protect women and girls and to prevent abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For information and support on domestic abuse, contact:

Police: 999 press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247

Welsh Women’s Aid Live Fear Free 24-hour helpline: 0808 80 10 800

Scotland National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriages 24-hour helpline: 0800 027 1234

Northern Ireland Domestic Abuse 24-hour helpline: 0808 802 1414

Online webchats and text services are also available.

Death of NHS nurse Liz Glanister

An NHS nurse, Liz Glanister, working at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool, has died after contracting the Coronavirus.

Liz Glanister, 68, was a long-serving NHS worker. She died on Friday, at Liverpool University Hospital, after testing positive for Covid-19.

Dianne Brown, the chief nurse at Liverpool Hospital, confirmed Ms Glanister’s death saying  she would be ‘sadly missed by all those who knew and worked with her.’

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, also paid tribute to Ms Glanister, offering his ‘deepest sympathy’  to her family and friends.

More than 3,500 NHS frontline staff in England and Wales have been tested for the virus since the outbreak began.

There’s continuing praise for the hard work and bravery of NHS health workers who are saving lives around the clock, whilst risking their own health and safety.

Local parks to stay open where possible.

Social Distancing Guidelines at Hyde Park. Image: Phoebe McIndoe

The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has defended the actions of Britons today who were continuing to enjoy public green spaces during the lockdown.

In an interview with the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, Jenrick empathised with families living in ‘flats without gardens’ and ‘cramped accommodation,’ commenting that park-closures should be a ‘last resort’ only.

Jenrick urged local authorities to ‘be very judicious’ when deciding whether or not to keep parks open.

He added that parks should only be closed if councils feel it is impossible for social distancing rules to be adhered to.

Warm weather over the weekend prompted a number of people to breach social distancing restrictions resulting in subsequent park closures.

Brockwell was temporarily closed after Lambeth council reported around 3,000 people visiting the park; some of whom were sunbathing and congregating in large groups.

Members of the public are mostly adhering to Government guidelines.

In an open letter to Londoners the Royal Parks applauded those who were using the parks responsibly, whilst appealing to other members of the public:

Many people in London are not lucky enough to have a garden, many families are living in very cramped conditions…please don’t gather in groups, keep two metre distance, take litter home and keep dogs under control.

The Royal Parks Team sent out a further message thanking “everyone who used their local parks and green spaces responsibly over the weekend”.

Harriet Harman, Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham, called for parks rotas to be implemented so that all families living in flats with young children have the opportunity to escape the indoors.

Since then Harman has also backed the idea of opening empty golf courses to the public.

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