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News anchor hosts show with domestic abuse helpline written on her hand as calls rise by 25%

News anchor hosts show with domestic abuse helpline written on her hand as calls rise by 25%

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently called on governments to make addressing the surge in domestic violence a key part of their pandemic response.

A BBC host has garnered praise online after she presented the news with the telephone number for the U.K.'s national domestic abuse helpline written on her hand. TV presenter Victoria Derbyshire sent a subtle message to victims of domestic abuse during her broadcast as global lockdowns sparked an increase in domestic violence. The journalist's powerful gesture on TV came after Refuge—the U.K.'s largest domestic abuse charity—said on Monday that calls to its helpline had increased by 25% since the lockdown began and that hits on its website had shot up by 150%.



 

Derbyshire tweeted a photo of the number written on the back of her hand the same morning, writing: The National Domestic Abuse hotline has seen a 25% increase in calls & online requests for help in the past week. During the lockdown there’s also been a daily rise in people going on the helpline website & last wk that figure was up by 150%. The helpline is open 24/7.



 

 

Speaking to CNN about leaving the number on her hand while hosting the show, Derbyshire explained, "I'd written the number on my hand to tweet a photo of it at 7 a.m. this morning. I left it on my skin in case it could help any of the millions watching after 9 a.m. on BBC 1." She added that it was "shocking enough" that two U.K. women were killed every week by a partner or ex-partner even before the pandemic. "Now some will be trapped with a violent perpetrator in self-isolation or partial lockdown and it's even more vital to get the helpline number out there," she said.



 

 



 

 



 

 

According to Independent, Refuge recently announced that it has teamed up with Chelsea FC to raise awareness for the women and children becoming victims of domestic abuse during the pandemic. "Reports from around the world show that the COVID-19 global pandemic has led to an increase in domestic abuse incidents during periods of isolation and lockdown.  Experts are warning that the coronavirus outbreak will lead to a 'domestic abuse pandemic,'" the charity said in a statement announcing the partnership.



 

 

Refuge warned that self-isolation could aggravate "pre-existing abusive behaviors," making it harder for women to seek help. "The window for women to seek help ordinarily is extremely limited," the statement continued. "The current periods of isolation mean that window is reduced yet more. Refuge wants women to know they are not alone and can still access its support, via its specialist services that run across the country, by telephone and digitally."



 

 

With mounting data laying bare the disturbing surge in domestic abuse during the pandemic, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on governments to make addressing the issue a key part of their pandemic response. In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday, Guterres stated that violence isn't limited to the battlefield. "For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes," he said, appealing "for peace at home — and in homes — around the world."



 

 

"We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19, but they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the past weeks, as the economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying surge in domestic violence," Guterres continued. The secretary-general revealed that in some countries "the number of women calling support services has doubled" while "healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed" amid the pandemic. "I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plan to COVID-19," he said.



 

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