The Domestic Abuse Group of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has issued guidance on how Catholic parishes can support victims of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Since the UK-wide COVID-19 lockdown began on 23 March 2020, there has been a 49% increase in calls and online requests for help relating to domestic abuse.
The guidance you can find in this section includes information about how parishes can raise awareness of the issue, including a list of helplines and information about how to safely get help. It also contains a step-by-step starter guide for how parishes can support their local domestic abuse services.
Bishop John Sherrington, who chairs the Domestic Abuse Group, said:
“Every person has a right to live their life free from violence, abuse, intimidation and fear. Catholic parishes can play an important role in the fighting the scourge of domestic abuse, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic where we are seeing some shocking statistics from leading domestic abuse organisations. My thanks go to those organisations and individuals already working so hard to ensure that people suffering domestic abuse can live safe lives.
“Every local situation will differ and so our new guidance is designed to be used as an introduction to start a local project. I hope that Catholics and parishes will be inspired to take this up in their local area.
“Violence of this kind should never be tolerated or justified. It is an offence against the dignity of the human person.”
Every person has a right to live their life free from violence, abuse, intimidation and fear. Catholic parishes can play an important role in supporting people and fighting the scourge of domestic abuse