An increase in domestic abuse calls has been seen between 2021-2022. Every month we do an audit on the number of referrals we receive by pulling data from our teams. These teams are spread over south-west England and are located in:
- Isle of Wight
Together, our PARAGON teams receive over 250 referrals and enquiries each week. These referrals are to help and support victims and survivors of domestic abuse. They are also from people using abusive and harmful behaviours in their relationships who want to change. Between July and August of 2022, we received over 2,300 calls, which is an increase from the same period in 2021.
Sadly, the calls to our teams have not reduced over the recent 2022 summer holiday period. Holidays often bring with them an increase in calls. Bu, we worry about the impact of additional stressors within already abusive relationships. Stressors, such as the cost-of-living crisis, can make abusive situations worsen.
Recognising domestic abuse
It’s important to know what is considered abuse. Some people don’t realise that the relationship they are in are abusive. This can be because friends or family have normalised abusive behaviours. According to the UK Government, domestic abuse behaviours include, when a partner, ex-partner or someone you live with:
- Cuts you off from family and friends and intentionally isolates you
- bullies, threatens, or controls you
- takes control of your finances
- monitors or limits your use of technology
- physically and/or sexually abuses you
Be aware that domestic abuse does not have to be physical in nature. It can also include:
- coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
- economic abuse
- online abuse
- threats and intimidation
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
An increase in domestic abuse calls
Signs to look out for might be:
- being withdrawn, or being isolated from family and friends
- having bruises, burns or bite marks
- their finances are controlled, perhaps they are not being given enough to buy food, medication or pay bills, have a coffee with friends, stop for a drink after work
- not being allowed to leave the house, or stopped from going to college or work, or being worried if they are late
- their internet use is monitored
- constant texts or phone calls that have to be answered
- they are constantly put down or told they are stupid
- they think they deserve their poor treatment
We want you to know that we are here for you. So please contact us if you believe you or someone you know is being abused.
If you are in an emergency, always call 999 first.