Victoria Derbyshire Offers Powerful Message To Domestic Abuse Victims As Cases Soar
As the news broke that domestic abuse cases were surging as a result of the lockdown, newsreader Victoria Derbyshire left a subtle message for those who might need it.
Determined to help raise awareness of the help available for victims, the BBC host appeared on screen with the number for the National Domestic Abuse helpline inked onto her hand.
It comes after Refuge revealed on Monday that there had been a 25 per cent increase in calls and online requests to its helpline since coronavirus lockdown started.
Meanwhile, the charity's website visits had increased by a startling 150 per cent.
After Victoria's TV appearance, she was heaped with praise for doing her bit to help those in need.
Victims Commissioner - an independent voice for victims and witnesses - retweeted Victoria's post, and wrote: "Fantastic work from @vicderbyshire finding a creative way to get information to victims of #domesticabuse who may be trapped with their abuser during #COVID19 Lockdown."
While Glasgow Women's Centre simply added: "Victoria Derbyshire - thank you x".
Another Twitter user conceded: "Honestly, Victoria Derbyshire is the very best, this small act alone can save lives. Bravo".
Speaking to The Independent, the newsreader explained why she left the number for all to see.
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She said: "Two women a week were killed by a partner or ex before coronavirus. A fact that is shocking enough.
"Now, some people will be trapped with a violent perpetrator in self-isolation or partial lockdown and it's even more vital to get the helpline number out there so people know there is someone right now available to take your call and help you if you are in a violent or threatening situation.
"I'd written the number on my hand to tweet a photo of it at 7am this morning and left it on my skin deliberately in case it could help any of the millions watching after 9am on BBC 1."
Last year, an estimated 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse in some form across the UK, and given that reported cases shot up at Christmas and over summer (when families were spending more time at home) experts are warning that we could see a similar increase during this period of social distancing - for however long that may be.
Speaking to Tyla, Sandra Horley CBE, Chief Executive of National Domestic Abuse charity Refuge said: "Refuge is concerned about the potential for incidents of domestic abuse to increase during periods of lockdown.
"Self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours by perpetrators.
"While in lockdown or self-isolation, women and children are likely to be spending concentrated periods of time with perpetrators, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse and further restricting their freedom."
If you're a victim looking to report abuse, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (highlighted by Victoria) on 0808 2000 247. Or, if it is not safe to do so, visit the organisation's website and discreetly fill out a form.
For those in immediate danger, and in need of a 'silent solution', calling 999 and dialling in the number 55 will also alert the authorities you need help.
If you think a neighbour might be a victim of domestic abuse, call 999, and if you suspect a child is a risk, you can also contact NSPCC.
You can read Refuge's online guide in full here.
Featured Image Credit: BBC
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