Bermuda Post

Friday, Jun 05, 2020

Increase in domestic violence due to COVID-19

Increase in domestic violence due to COVID-19

Reports of domestic incidents including verbal attacks more than doubled during lockdown compared with the previous month, police data showed.
In April, the Bermuda Police Service recorded 81 domestic incidents after 35 cases in March.

A spokesman explained: “These figures represent the total of physical and non-physical [verbal] incidents and the parties include all persons who fall under the ‘domestic violence category’ meaning spouse on spouse, sibling on sibling, child on parent, etc.”

The island’s shelter-in-place period, when only essential workers could leave their homes unless the journey was for food, medicine, petrol or because of a medical emergency, ran from April 4 to May 2.

Police received 47 and 52 reports of domestic incidents in January and February respectively.

Separately, the Centre Against Abuse said that safe-space requests were fulfilled for 16 people and their children over about six weeks as the island grappled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Laurie Shiell, its executive director, explained that a combination of need and increased funding meant that the extent of the organisation’s services grew in April and into May.

She said last Thursday: “Since March 30, we have assisted 16 individuals with safe housing through the period, or getting to a safe space actually ... 17 kids were attached to those 16 individuals.

“In total, we have serviced 56 clients during that same period, it’s been very busy.”

The Centre Against Abuse runs a 24-hour hotline on 297-8278

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