Domestic abuse during lockdown: expert tells LBC signs to look out for

27 May 2020, 14:44

By Fiona Jones

Domestic abuse charity Refuge has seen a 10-fold increase to their site during lockdown - their chief told LBC listeners the different types of abuse that can occur and indicators to look out for.

The charity said the lockdown itself does not cause domestic abuse but "can aggravate pre-existing behaviours in an abusive partner".

Abuse does not always mean physical violence, said Refuge's Lisa King and took

Ms King addressed financial abuse: "If you are unable to access funds or someone is controlling your access to money. It might even be your own money. Limiting what you spend or assessing what you spend your money on, perhaps not enabling you to go to work or perhaps not enabling your education."

Economic sabotage is an increasing form of control, she said.

Domestic abuse during lockdown: expert tells LBC signs to look out for
Domestic abuse during lockdown: expert tells LBC signs to look out for. Picture: PA

Psychological control: "If you feel you're being intimidated, put down, that you're made to feel worthless, unable to contribute, no one's going to listen to what you say and every time you try being you're put down and told it's your fault.

"It can be very very psychologically damaging and it can be a bit like being worn away like water dripping on a stone. It has that kind of impact."

"If you are being forced to undertake any sexual acts you don't consent to and you aren't being given a choice around", this is sexual abuse, Ms King said.

You could be experiencing technological abuse: "If you feel you're being monitored or stalked on your apps and devices that is a form of abuse or you're being harassed and contacted and get text messages all the time that make you feel frightened."

Ms King told LBC that there are many different ways someone can be abused.

"It is all about power and control and if somebody has a tactic of using power to control you, that is domestic abuse. Put in its most simplistic form: if you change your behaviour because of your partner's reaction, that is domestic abuse."