A police boss is urging victims to domestic abuse to seek help during the coronavirus lockdown.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones is concerned there could be an increase in domestic violence as families are thrown together by work closures and business shutdowns.
Mr Jones, a former police inspector, has made the fight against domestic violence one of his key policing priorities.
He said: “We are living in unprecedented times but is no excuse for domestic abuse whatever form it takes.
“It is a difficult time for all of us and we should make every effort to get on together and recognise the negative impact domestic abuse has on children who will now be more exposed in the current environment.
“The threat of the coronavirus pandemic means that home is supposed to be the safest place any of us could be right now but sadly that isn’t true for victims of domestic abuse.
“It can mean that they are now having to spend even more time with their abuser and are at even greater risk of violence and the equally abusive coercive control.
“There is no alternative to the lockdown in the face of the threat we all of us face but for those experiencing domestic violence, social distancing means being trapped inside with an abuser.
“This remains a crime though and I want to reassure anyone who feels they are at risk that the police and the many excellent support services that exist to help them stand ready.”
According to North Wales Police, they recognised the disruption to daily routines and social isolating may well put extra strains on personal relationships, but the force wanted to make clear that it will not tolerate domestic abuse and will take robust action against perpetrators.
DCI Jon Salisbury Jones said; “This is a difficult and stressful time for everyone, but it can never be an excuse for domestic abuse of any kind; whether it’s violence or controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour.”
“Tackling domestic abuse is a force priority as set out in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Plan and remains so during these difficult times.”
“We would encourage anyone who is a victim of such abuse to contact us. Do not keep it to yourself. Our trained domestic abuse officers will support victims and deal firmly with offenders.”
“There are a wide range of bodies which can offer advice and support and I would encourage anyone concerned with this issue to consult the advice available.”
“Below is a link to our website and a list of agencies which offer support and advice and details of other places where support is available.”
Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) UK Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (freephone) Website: www.elderabuse.org.uk
Age Cymru Advice Free and confidential information and advice on matters affecting the over 50s in Wales.
Tel: 08000 223 444 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline: 0300 222 1122 Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk
Care & Repair Cymru
Care & Repair Cymru are a national charitable body that aims to ensure older people have homes that are safe, secure and appropriate to their needs. They can assist people who are owner occupiers or living in private
rented housing. There is a network of local Care & Repair Agencies across Wales.
Call your local agency on: 0300 111 3333 Website: www.careandrepair.org.uk
Citizens Advice Bureaus (CABs)
National network of free advice centres offering confidential and independent advice, face to face or by telephone.
Tel: 03444 77 20 20
Details of your nearest CAB can be found at: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Live Fear Free Helpline
A free helpline offering advice and support to those affected by violence against women, domestic abuse, or sexual violence. Tel: 0808 8010 800 (lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) Website: https://livefearfree.gov.wales/
Men’s Advice Line
A confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Tel: 0808 801 0327 Website: www.mensadviceline.org.uk
Protect (previously called Public Concern at Work) is an independent ‘whistleblowing’ charity. They aim to protect society by encouraging people to whistleblow about serious wrongdoing in the workplace.
Advice Line: 020 3117 2520 Website: www.pcaw.org.uk
The Samaritans service provides emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.
Confidential Samaritans Helpline: 116 123