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14 Apr 2020

Calls to domestic abuse helplines up 25% during lockdown

Since tighter restrictions on our movement have been introduced due to the coronavirus outbreak, domestic abuse charities have reported an increase in helpline calls.

The charity Refuge reported a 25% increase in calls for help, compared to before social distancing restrictions were introduced.


What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviour, on the part of the perpetrator, designed to control their partner. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of background, age, gender, sexuality, religion or ethnicity.

There are different forms of domestic abuse:

  • Psychological abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Coercive control
  • Physical abuse

Domestic abuse is not the fault of the person who is experiencing it.


Advice and Support

Even when isolating, it is important to know you are not alone and there is support out there. Police advise that people facing abuse at home during lockdown should:

  • Still report their experiences to the police
  • Call 999 if you are in an emergency situation
  • Seek support from domestic abuse services such as Refuge

The government has specified that domestic abuse victims can still leave home to seek refuge and help despite social distancing rules.


Helpline numbers:

Despite lockdown, different support services are still open as usual, and we have listed some below.


The largest provider of emergency accommodation and emotional and practical support to women and children in the UK.

24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247


Supports male victims of domestic violence, though it helps all callers regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation.

24-hour helpline: 01823 334 244


National LGBT Domestic Abuse:

Emotional and practical support for LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse.

Helpline: 0800 999 5428

If you are in a confidential space and able to make a call, and are looking for counselling, The Eaves is open Monday to Saturday 9am-9pm, where our referrals team can help find you a suitable therapist.