– Office of National Statistics – Domestic abuse during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, England and Wales: November 2020

Indicators from a range of data sources to assess the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on domestic abuse in England and Wales.

  • “Police recorded crime data show an increase in offences flagged as domestic abuse-related during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however, there has been a gradual increase in police recorded domestic abuse-related offences over recent years as police have improved their recording of these offences; therefore it cannot be determined whether this increase can be directly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The number of domestic violence remedy orders shows a mixed picture; the weekly number of non-molestation applications, and the number of orders granted from mid-April to the end of June were above the pre-lockdown baseline, while the weekly number of occupation orders granted between March and the end of June were generally below the pre-lockdown baseline.
  • London’s Metropolitan police service received an increased number of calls-for-service for domestic incidents following the lockdown, largely driven by third-party calls; this is likely because people were spending more time at home during this period.
  • There has generally been an increase in demand for domestic abuse victim services during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly affecting helplines as lockdown measures eased; this does not necessarily indicate an increase in the number of victims, but perhaps an increase in the severity of abuse being experienced, and a lack of available coping mechanisms such as the ability to leave the home to escape the abuse, or attend counselling.
  • The total number of cases discussed at multi-agency risk assessment conferences (MARACs) decreased in April to June 2020 compared with the previous quarter; this may reflect the difficulties high-risk victims faced when attempting to safely contact the police (the main source of referral to MARACs) during the lockdown period.”

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