As we now enter week 2 of lockdown people are finding lots of ways to keep positive and if they are living with family, to enjoy the company of their children and partners.
For many, however, this period of lockdown, holds many fears and dangers – the women and their children who now have nowhere to escape from an abusive partner.
The Digital Human, a BBC Radio 4 programme covered the issue of Coercion in the digital age – How has technology extended the reach of emotional abuse.
The stories the women in the programme relate are of partners who used phones, cameras, tracking devices etc, all the latest digital gadgetry to control and have power over them.
This is what we know now of as Coercive Control and which is illegal. It is a form of domestic abuse.
Link to Refuge: Forms of Violence and Abuse – Tech Abuse This will give you advice and information on how to deal with tech abuse.
Domestic abuse also takes the form of physical violence. For women and children isolated in the home with their abuser this is a time of extreme anxiety and fear.
Women’s Aid remains open and continues to support those who require it. They have some helpful advice for anyone in this situation.
Try and keep a mobile phone with you at all times if possible. The police are a key service when in immediate danger. Do not be afraid to call 999 in an emergency. Women’s Aid
Online information :
In Orkney the local Women’s Aid is open during the COVID19 restrictions.
Phone: 01856 877900 Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 4.00pm and 07538786885 out with these times.
If it is an emergency phone 999 and contact the Police.
The Scottish Government has put £350 million from the Communities Fund to Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland to ensure that access to these key support services is maintained and victims still have access to methods of reporting crimes during the pandemic crisis, including using online video platforms, text messaging and phone calls.
Scottish Women’s Aid will receive £1.35 million over six months and Rape Crisis Scotland will receive £226,309 over six months.
Scotland’s 24hr Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is available on 0800 027 1234.
Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline is available on 08088 01 03 02. Calls to this number are free. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07537 410027.
Announcing the additional financial support Humza Yousaf, Justice Secretary in the Scottish Government said:
“We want women and children experiencing domestic abuse in the home to know that although they may feel isolated and vulnerable during these unprecedented times, they are not alone.
“Anyone experiencing violence, including coercive and controlling behaviours, should not feel in any way inhibited by the current coronavirus outbreak to report a crime against them.
“These are enormously difficult times, but the safety of women and child victims who experience abuse in the home is paramount – the message to stay at home does not mean that they should not seek urgent help, advice or support.
Related article: Living With Domestic Violence: My Story