22 December 2020
The Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB) is reminding Islanders of the help and support available for those suffering from domestic abuse, particularly over the festive period.
With levels of domestic abuse often increasing during the holiday season in normal circumstances, when more time is spent at home and financial pressures are increased, the agencies who form the SPB are concerned that these pressures could increase further with COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Vice Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership Board, Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull said: “We’re reissuing our plea to islanders to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community in these times when it may be more difficult for those in need to seek help.
“We as the Police are, of course, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist. However, you don’t always have to involve Police: there are a number of agencies that support you however you proceed.”
Signs to look out for with neighbours, friend and family include:
- Regular shouting and screaming
- Fear and anxiety
- Sounds of objects being thrown/ broken
Reports received by States of Jersey Police between March and December, a period when restrictions were in place, stood at 10 per cent less than the previous year; equating to almost a fewer 100 incidents. Officers are concerned that this may imply a level of suppression.
Carly Lucas, Service Manager from Jersey Domestic Abuse (JDAS) added: “There are many different forms that domestic abuse can take; none should be ignored or dismissed. The effects can be significant on the victim, and also any children in the home - no one should have to live their life in fear.
“We are able to support in a number of different ways, and will continue to do so however our client decides to move forward. We can talk to you on the phone, online or in person.”
A support worker from JDAS is now permanently based in the hospital to support patients, regardless of whether or not it is domestic abuse that has brought them into the hospital.
From December 2019 (inclusive) to December 2020, JDAS received 866 referrals for domestic abuse.