I’m sure you were the same, but when we went into lockdown, my heart instantly went to those who were going to suffer more, than the loss of being able to go outside. I worried so much, for those in bad relationships, but my heart broke for those in abusive ones.
For those of you who have listened to my podcast with Jay Blades, you will recall I broke down as he told me how a number of women wanted him to thank me, for helping them be able to build a business. This then meant they were finally being able to leave the abuse within the home. I was in shock. I was humbled, sad and happy all in one.
And unfortunately, my earlier fears were not unfounded. Not only was there a 120% increase in calls to the helpline in a 24hr period, but the number of deaths of women killed by men has soared to 16. This shocking number of women who have lost their lives is the highest it’s been in 11 years and double the average.
I’m sharing this photo of a heart in a hand to remind anyone suffering from domestic abuse that #YouAreNotAlone. This is the hashtag of the campaign Priti Patel launched recently. She has pledged to help all who ask for help, making sure the perpetrators are removed from the homes and not the victims. But in some cases (where necessary) making sure the victims and children are placed in safety. In France, they have taken over hotels for victims of abuse.
At home should not mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse isolation rules do not apply. Repeat – Isolation rules do not apply. If you are in immediate danger, call 999. And, this is new, if you are unable to talk press 55 on mobile and you will be put through to the police. You can also call The National Domestic Abuse Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0808 2000 247).