It has been reported by the Lancashire Telegraph that, according to police data, there has been a significant increase in reports of domestic abuse in Lancashire since lockdown began in March.

This further accelerates figures which were already on the increase in the latter part of 2019, say police.

In the early stages of lockdown, domestic abuse support agencies reported a surge in demand for their services. Charity Refuge saw a 66% increase in the use of its helpline while the National Domestic Abuse Helpline saw a 950% increase in visits to their website.

Lancashire Police has seen an increase of around 20% in cases of reported domestic abuse but are cautious of attributing the increase solely to the coronavirus lockdown because of the earlier signs of an upsurge. However, for many, lockdown measures could have worsened domestic abuse they were already subjected to with no means of leaving the home.

Alongside analysing the reported incidents, Lancashire Police have joined forces with councils in the region, support agencies, the NHS, and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to launch their latest campaign, #noexcuseforabuse. The campaign has been set up to highlight domestic abuse and signpost victims to the support available. You can find resources and support on the campaign website.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone; between spouses, co-habiting couples, parents and children, grandparents or wider family members. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or controlling behaviour.

If you are at risk of immediate harm as a result of domestic abuse, please call the police on 999.

If you require legal advice, our team of family law and divorce solicitors are on hand to provide confidential guidance on the next steps you can take. The team can be contacted by phone on 0845 287 0939 or by email through our online contact form.