Priti allows abuse victims to leave home for safety

Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel leaves 10 Downing Street after attending a cabinet meeting in London, Britain. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/Xinhua/IANS)

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that domestic abuse victims were still allowed to leave their homes to seek help despite restrictions on people’s movements imposed by the British government due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported…reports Asian Lite News

Home Secretary Priti Patel (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the current restrictions asking people to stay indoors were even harder for the one’s whose “home is not the safe haven it should be”, the BBC reported.

“I am acutely aware that the necessary guidelines about social distancing and self-isolation may leave the victims of hidden crime, such as domestic abuse and child sexual abuse, feeling especially isolated, vulnerable and exposed,” said Patel in her newspaper column in the Sunday Mail.

“But my message to every potential victim is simple: we have not forgotten you and we will not let you down.

“And my message to every perpetrator is equally as simple: you will not get away with your crimes.”

Patel said the government would protect victims, saying it has given 1.6 billion pounds to local councils to help those in need and was working with charities.

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline was also continuing to operate, she said.

“Whilst our advice is to stay at home, anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, is still able to leave and seek refuge.

Refuges remain open, and the police will provide support to all individuals who are being abused – whether physically, emotionally, or otherwise,” the BBC quoted the Home Secretary as saying in her column.

Under the government’s new restriction, everyone has been told to stay at home and only leave the house for four reasons: shopping for basic necessities, exercise, any medical need and travelling to work if you cannot work from home.

A man walks past a closed pub in Covent Garden in central London. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

But the “unprecedented” measures could lead to more people finding themselves being victims of domestic abuse, Leicestershire Police had warned last week, adding that health concerns and job losses may also add pressure, causing some people to experience abuse for the first time.

An estimated 1.6 million women and 786,000 men experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in the year ending March 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics. In 2018, 173 people were killed in domestic violence-related homicides, according to data obtained by the BBC from 43 police forces across the UK.

The charity Refuge said staff were “working round the clock” to make sure its services remained open.

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