Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Linda Dillon MLA has called on the Executive to introduce additional emergency accommodation provisions for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
Linda Dillon said:
“Amid the ongoing restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic I am greatly concerned at the rise in calls and online requests for help to domestic abuse helplines.
“While in lockdown or self-isolation, women and children are more likely to be spending concentrated periods of time with perpetrators, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse, cutting off escape routes, and making it more difficult for victims to seek help.
“We are seeing a global upward trend of domestic abuse cases and the north is no different with evidence that domestic abuse cases are up almost 30%.
“There is a real risk of existing domestic abuse refuges and emergency accommodation being overwhelmed.
“I am therefore writing to the Minister for Communities about bringing in additional emergency accommodation provisions for victims of domestic abuse.
“It is critical at this dangerous time that we are able to stand by domestic abuse victims and keep people safe. I’d like to praise those key frontline workers who are working tirelessly to protect victims of domestic abuse.
“To anyone who is currently suffering domestic abuse please remember that you are not alone and that help is available. There is a 24-hour domestic & sexual abuse helpline that you can call on 0808 802 1414.”