Silent pandemic: domestic abuse killings double in UK

By Remei Calabuig

Edinburgh, United Kingdom, May 14 (efe-epa).- Domestic abuse killings have doubled in the United Kingdom during lockdown, according to campaigners.

At least 14 women and two children have died during domestic abuse incidents during the first three weeks of the country’s quarantine measures, according to figures from Counting Dead Women, an initiative that records the killing of women by men in the UK.

This was the highest number recorded during a 21-day period, from 23 March to 12 April, in 11 years and more than double the average rate, the organisation reported.

Calls to the national domestic abuse helpline also increased by 49 per cent in the same period, according to a report by MPs.

The report urged the government to implement a strategy to tackle the issue of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At least 115 women were killed by men in the UK in 2019, with 45 femicides recorded by April this year, according to data from the Counting Dead Women Project.

Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, which runs shelters and support services for victims through a national network of associations across the country, said there is an increased risk of physical and emotional aggression during lockdown.

Lucy Hadley, campaign manager for Women’s Aid, said in an interview with Efe: “Lockdown measures would increase the risk of emotional and physical harm to women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

“It’s very clear that for victims of domestic abuse the home isn’t a place of safety it’s a place of fear and if you’re trapped in lockdown with your abuser for such a significant period of time, not only is abuse going to escalate but also your access to support and to the public services you might need to get help is really, really limited.”

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