Round the clock helpline launched in Plymouth as fears grow for those at risk of domestic abuse in coronavirus lockdown

A 24-hour helpline has been launched by a domestic abuse service in Plymouth due to fears more people are at risk in the coronavirus lockdown.

Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service has warned the pandemic - which has forced most households into self-isolation - could result in a rise in domestic abuse rates.

Katy Fisher, who works for the service, said so many victims seek help and comfort from friends and family, but the opportunity for this is now "very likely to be gone".

There is support out there for everyone affected by domestic abuse. Credit: PA images

With fears that the next few weeks and months could have damaging consequences for those confined with abusive partners, the team in Plymouth is determined to remind people that support is still there.

As a result, they have introduced a 24-hour helpline to help those at risk as much as possible during this unprecedented lockdown period.

The service has also raised concerns about the children of abusers who are mostly at home now because schools and nurseries have been shut down.

The service is also worried about the children of abusers, who are now mostly at home too. Credit: PA images

Katy, and her support team in Plymouth, want to remind people that even though they are not operating in their normal way, support is and always will be there for victims.

The message to victims of abuse is: if you're a woman, man or child living with an abuser - know that support is out there right now, day and night.

If you, or anyone you know is at risk, there are organisations that can offer help and support: