Survivors of domestic abuse are facing a number of challenges during the coronavirus lockdown.Advertisement
People locked down with their abusers face greater danger while those who have escaped abuse may have lost access to services which can help with their recovery.
In a guest post for Blog Preston, Omayya, who runs the Changing Futures project with Preston Domestic Violence Service, says: “The Covid-19 lockdown has further isolated service users and potentially put many who still live with perpetrators in greater danger.
“On the other hand those who are no longer with their perpetrators feel safer knowing they are staying indoors most of the time.
“The women have lost access to some of the confidence building and support sessions which they relied on as part of their recovery.
“Many of the women I work with have anxiety and these current restrictions have heightened their anxiety with the fear of the virus and I have noticed they discuss it in length during their one to one calls.
“Also having their children at home is impacting on them as they feel they do not have any time to switch off which when you are in recovery from domestic abuse this is essential.
“For some not being able to be express their feeling , upset or just staying in bed when the kids are normally at school if they are having a bad day is a challenge.
“Most are adjusting to the restrictions as there is no other option however not being able to be alone or see family is proving to be a real strain as the weeks go by.
“Our one to one calls are there to offer support, a listening ear and a voice of reassurance.
“The lockdown has exposed some service users to new risks such as one of my service users who lives in a communal building and feels that the lockdown is impacting on the mental health of the people who were already struggling and has left her feeling afraid living in her own home by her
“She feels the lockdown has allowed some people to have more time to
think of malicious and anti-social behaviours which can trigger her memories of the abuse that she has fled.
“The lockdown has impacted negatively on abuse victims and they all appreciate the telephone support as it is a regular outlet and a point of contact when many other services are not available.
“I believe following the lockdown being lifted the women will need additional support in order to resume their recovery.
“The lockdown has left abuse victims exposed and feeling helpless to further risk and feeling frightened.”
Read more: Preston Domestic Violence Service to increase support through Tampon Tax funding
The Changing Futures project is focused on supporting people facing multiple and complex barriers to employment.
All participants are unemployed or economically inactive and are at high risk of social exclusion, such as people from BAME communities, people with physical or mental health problems and people with learning difficulties.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse please contact Preston Domestc Violence Services on 01772 201601.
Read more: Latest news from Blog Preston