UK unveils campaign for domestic violence victims during pandemic

UK unveils campaign for domestic violence victims during pandemic
© istock

The British government’s Housing Secretary Priti Patel announced a campaign to provide resources for domestic violence victims after the country’s domestic violence hotline saw a 120 percent surge during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The increase in those seeking help in this hidden crime is extremely concerning,” she said at a news conference  Saturday.

Patel said the campaign builds upon the domestic violence hotline that currently exists in the country by adding online support along with other features that could allow them to seek help in ways besides a phone call, which could alarm their abusers. She committed about $2.4 million USD to the initiative. 

ADVERTISEMENT

She added that victims of domestic violence are exempt from the “stay at home” order the country is currently under.

“For the victims of these crimes, home is not the safe haven that it should be,” she said.

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council of Britain, said in the same news conference that the country has seen a 21 percent drop in crime in the weeks since the country has issued a “stay at home" order, and told abusers to “not think that this is a time where you can get away with this.”

The country's "stay at home" is likely to last at least another couple weeks as the UK continues to see more cases. As of Saturday afternoon, Britian has reported 79,000 cases and 9,892 deaths. 

In the U.S., the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).