As lockdown domestic abuse continues, Crimestoppers reminds the public across the North West to speak up anonymously to help save lives
Date published: 20 February 2021
During a lockdown, home isn’t always a safe place, as victims of domestic abuse are trapped with their abuser, with less chances to seek support from loved ones
In the first three weeks of March 2020 in the UK, 14 women and two children were killed as a result of domestic abuse – this is the highest rate for 11 years, according to the Counting Dead Women Project.
Almost one year on, and as Covid-19 restrictions remain in place, the charity Crimestoppers is appealing for anyone who is aware of domestic abuse happening to get in contact on a 100% anonymous basis.
Last year, Crimestoppers – along with Refuge, which runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline – saw a worrying rise in domestic abuse reports, largely put down to people being forced to remain at home to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
During a lockdown, home isn’t always a safe place, as victims of domestic abuse are trapped with their abuser, with less chances to seek support from loved ones.
Information about domestic abuse from the North West increased to 732 reports between April and December 2020 – this compared to 340 reports between April and December 2019.
The #YouAreNotPowerless campaign has been running this month across the North West and consists of a hard-hitting short video depicting various scenarios and is being promoted across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media channels.
Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, emotional, sexual or financial. Any adult can be a perpetrator, with one in four people reoffending. It affects one in four women and one in six men during their lifetime.
In too many cases, it results in death with two women murdered by a current or former partner each week across the UK. Statistics also tell us that one in five children sadly witness domestic abuse, which can impact their physical, psychological and emotional well-being and development.
You may be a neighbour who has seen or heard threatening and intimidating arguments, which may involve abusive language that can escalate into a violent argument where the partner blames the other for their actions, saying they are 'asking for it' or deserve the abuse.
You may have seen bruising or other visible marks on a friend, family member or work colleague – this may be the sign of physical abuse.
A team of professionals working at Crimestoppers’ national Contact Centre anonymise all information received – to ensure the person giving the details can never be identified - before passing it on to police to investigate and safeguard. Whether it is a neighbour, friend, work colleague or relative, no-one will ever know who provided the information.
Previous domestic abuse lockdown campaigns and appeals last year saw numerous victims safeguarded and action taken against perpetrators as a result of anonymous information provided to Crimestoppers and passed on.
Gary Murray, North West Regional Manager at Crimestoppers, said: “Every day we hear distressing and poignant stories from people who are doing the right thing and telling us anonymously when they think domestic abuse is happening.
“We all need to realise that victims may be too scared and traumatised to seek help. We know that a victim typically endures up to 35 assaults before having the strength to speak up, and that can be for many different reasons; fear of losing their children; fear of losing their home; fear of not being believed; even thoughts that they are somehow to blame.
“Our video show that people may be aware that a neighbour, friend or family member is a victim of domestic abuse but may feel unsure about reporting to police. They highlight that Crimestoppers provides a safe and anonymous way to speak up about suspicions of domestic abuse.
“Information, given to our charity by people from across the North West, helps law enforcement bring a halt to abuse and violence in the home. Our message is clear – by working together, being aware and reporting what we know, we can help put a stop to domestic abuse and we can save lives.”
Computer IP addresses are never traced, there is no caller line display, no 1271 facility and the charity has never traced a call.
To report domestic abuse 100% anonymously, visit the website Crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in the simple and secure anonymous online form or call the 24/7 UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111, 365 days of the year. In an emergency, always call 999.
Due to Crimestoppers’ anonymity guarantee, it cannot take information from victims. Support and help is available to victims of domestic abuse, whether or not it is reported to the police, via the following organisations:
- The 24-hour Refuge National Domestic Abuse Helpline is available to call free of charge 24/7 on 0808 2000 247. Web chat and a message facility is also available at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/.
- Support is also available from Women’s Aid www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/.
- Men’s advice line mensadviceline.org.uk is run by Respect for male victims, who can be contacted on 0808 801 0327.
- Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or via www.childline.org.uk.
Perpetrators who recognise they need to change their behaviour can contact:
- The Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040
Crimestoppers is also working with the following organisation to encourage companies to improve how they support potential employees who have experienced domestic abuse or guide staff on what to do if they have suspicions:
- EIDA (Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse) for information and resources www.eida.org.uk and Hestia at www.hestia.org
Do you have a story for us?
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All contact will be treated in confidence.
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