PROTECT VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE & VIOLENCE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19

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Ellen McAteer
Ellen McAteer signed this petition

During these difficult days, weeks and months ahead, we have to be more forward thinking than ever when it comes to helping the most vulnerable in society, those whose homes are not safe havens, not today…not ever!

It has already been reported that other countries which are on lockdown have seen an increase in domestic abuse by 30%, 40% and 50%! This increase WILL hit the UK.

In the UK there are only 4,000 refuge spaces, with 19,000 referrals last year, can you just imagine based on the above figures, the increase need for refuge spaces during and after lockdown?

I am calling on Government and Local Authorities to open up ‘empty properties’ where appropriate to be used to help accommodate those fleeing. 
The Government to arrange for Air BnB’s, Hotels and BnB’s to be used to take the overspill from the refuges. (Self contained properties preferred, with a pledge to rehouse those victims within 3-6 months) 

Our Government to put in place special measures to allow police to have the power to evict perpetrators from homes for the duration of the lockdown. 

Police to have extra resources to deal with domestic abuse call outs.
Restraining Orders/Non-Molestation Orders to be free for ALL those seeking them, and for them to be heard in court (these hearing are currently taking place virtually and via phone) as a matter of priority.

We need to make sure that all domestic abuse services have adequate PPE as they are frontline, still providing accommodation services which means they are going into refuges and are still doing face to face contact for community services where needed.

DA services to have adequate supplies of mobile phones and alarms readily available to issue to those who may seek safety in Hotels etc. so that they can have access to 24-hour support.

All funding to go straight to DA services and not via Local Authorities. Funding must be there for services during and after lockdown, as the anticipated increase in cases will have damaging effects financially to services.
Services need further funding to meet these demands.