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Charity warns of potential rise in domestic abuse during coronavirus outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak could see a spike in domestic abuse cases in the Channel Islands, a chairty has warned. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The coronavirus outbreak could see a spike in domestic abuse cases in the Channel Islands, a charity has warned.

The Jersey Women's Refuge says financial pressures coupled with lockdown restrictions could create a hotbed for violence and abusive behaviour.

The charity has said it will continue to support victims no matter what but urged all islanders to be on the look out for signs of abuse.

1 in 4
It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.
1 in 6
It is estimated that 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.

At this moment in time we're going see domestic incidents happening outside of these typical statistics it's going to happen to every-day couples.

– Marine Oliveira, Jersey Women’s Refuge

What are the signs and types of domestic abuse?

  • Psychological/emotional: Uses ‘mind games,’ to undermine and make the person doubt their own opinion and to deny that abuse is happening, constant name calling, put downs, withholding affection, telling the person what to wear, who to see, where to go and what to think, making threats, using blackmail and fear to control, isolation from friends and family
  • Physical: Anything from a slap, bite, punch, kick, strangulation - used to instill fear, it is not about causing harm to their partner it is about exerting power and control to scare and to use violence as a threat
  • Sexual: Sexual abuse is not just rape or sexual assault, it is about entitlement and expectation, forcing someone to have sex, perform certain acts or degrading behaviour against their will
  • Financial: It is more than just money, it can mean preventing someone from getting or keeping a job, not allowing them access to their income, giving an allowance, taking money, running up debts and withholding basic necessities

What are the warning signs to look out for?

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Seems afraid or anxious to please their partner and goes along with everything their partner says
  • Has to check in often to report where they are and what they’re doing
  • Receives frequent/harassing calls or messages from their partner
  • Talks about their partner’s temper, jealousy or possessiveness
  • Has frequent injuries, with the excuse of accidents
  • Frequently misses work, school, or social occasions without explanation
  • Dresses in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars
  • Cancels plans last minute

Where to go for help:

  • Jersey Domestic Abuse Support: 880505
  • States of Jersey Police (non-emergency): 612612
  • Jersey Women’s Refuge: 768368
  • Victim Support: 440496
  • Jersey Action Against Rape: 482800
  • NSPCC (Jersey branch): 0800 090 2270
  • Jersey Youth Service: 280500
  • Childline: 0800 1111
  • Guernsey Police
  • Guernsey Women's Refuge 01481 721999

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