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After spikes in domestic abuse during coronavirus lockdown Redbridge Council launches new support service

PUBLISHED: 12:01 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:01 15 April 2020

There was a 25% surge in calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline in a five-day period during the coronavirus lockdown, the charity Refuge said. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski

There was a 25% surge in calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline in a five-day period during the coronavirus lockdown, the charity Refuge said. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski

PA Wire/PA Images

Redbridge Council has launched a new support service following increases in domestic abuse.

Recent figures from Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse helpline show a 25 per cent increase in people contacting the team for help since the lockdown.

In response, Redbridge Council has launched Reach Out – a new support service for any adult who is being abused, or is fearful of being abused.

Reach Out provides a range of services, including support for the victim, counselling and practical advice on issues such as housing, finance and benefits.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “Many households may be facing a combination of money worries, anxiety linked to isolation, and issues surrounding job security, which can all increase tensions and stress.

“We know the last place a victim of domestic abuse wants to be is trapped at home with their abuser.

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“So, we want all residents to know that Reach Out is there to provide support throughout this difficult time.”

Services for children include counselling and on line support and telephone support through Box Up Crime.

The service also provides advice and support for adults who are struggling to cope with their behaviour, which may be causing a family member to be harmed or to be living in fear.

These individuals will be offered an online support programme, which is designed to help perpetrators of abuse understand their behaviour, and stop abuse from happening at home.

Cllr Athwal added: “Reach Out is also designed to work virtually with perpetrators of abuse so they can understand how their behaviour and actions impact those around them.”

The Reach Out number is 0800 145 6410 and will operate Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Residents can also email reachout@redbridge.gov.uk.

In an emergency, always call 999.

This service is open to all adults, who are victims of domestic abuse, including parents or family members who are being abused or living in fear of their teenage or grown-up children.


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