Sarah Evans, Partner in Coodes Solicitors’ Family team, discusses what support is available for victims of domestic abuse who are facing self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Family team at Coodes Solicitors advises people through the process of escaping domestic abuse. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for people in this situation.
This is a very worrying time for victims of abuse, who may now be required to self-isolate with their abuser for an extended period of time. For many people in this situation, work or their child’s school represents a safe place for them that they can no longer access.
Added to this, many domestic violence support services are no longer conducting home visits in light of the global pandemic.
We are all facing very difficult times. However, help is still at hand.
Support still available
South West domestic violence charity First Light has stressed that while home visits may not be taking place, help is still available.
The charity said: “First Light is continuing to work, and we are still available to offer support in these trying times.
“We are still offering our helpline support and the individual safety planning with victims, as we always have.
“We are very aware that the coming weeks and months are likely to put much more stress and strain on people.
“Many victims would have seen their workplace or their school environment as a safe place for them, to be away from their abuser, when they now have to stay in isolation with them.
“We want them to know that we are still here and able to support them. I am inspired daily by organisations and individuals providing support within their communities and I’m encouraging us all to look out for each other around this subject too.”
Police continue to operate, and crimes should be reported by calling 999 in an emergency, or 101 in other circumstances. Reports to 101 can also be made online.
We, at Coodes, continue to support our clients throughout these unprecedented times. This includes seeking non-molestation and occupation orders to protect them. We are also continuing to put in place orders to protect children, including child arrangements orders and prohibited steps orders. These orders can be obtained very quickly and with very little notice in urgent circumstances.
Where can I go for help?
There are many services throughout the South West that are dedicated to supporting anyone who is suffering any form of domestic abuse. We work with many of these organisations and often recommend them to our clients.
If you are affected by any of these issues and need legal advice, please contact the Family team: Family@coodes.co.uk