September 22, 2021 2.14 pm

Ten thousand people in North Lincolnshire abused in past year, report claims

The grim figures on domestic abuse during lockdown

By Local Democracy Reporter

Lockdown saw a surge in domestic abuse behind closed doors in North Lincolnshire.

An estimated 10,000 people in the area suffered some form of abuse over the past year, with perpetrators taking advantage of restrictions on movement, a report reveals.

Referrals to domestic violence support services, including charity Blue Door, also rose over the past year.

Police received more than 3,300 calls for help in North Lincolnshire between April 2020 to March 2021.

However, this is believed to be significantly under-reported, with victims either unable or afraid to call.

North Lincolnshire Council says it saw a fall in demand for domestic abuse support services during each lockdown, followed by a surge when people were allowed out again.

Nearly 2,500 crimes were recorded by police, and 1,614 victims were identified.

Sadly, it is believed the vast majority of people who suffer abuse do not report it or ask for help.

North Lincolnshire Council predicts only 15 in every 100 victims go to the police, six in 100 access support from the Blue Door and just two in 100 request safe accommodation.

The most common perpetrators were ex-partners, who accounted for just over half of all incidents (56%).

Current partners were another third (33%), with family members making up 11%.

Abuse took the form of stalking, harassment and violence.

Not all people affected by abuse are women, with men understood to be the victim of three in every ten incidents.

Around a fifth of domestic abuse-related crimes were committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The report into domestic abuse services says that while the rate of known abuse in North Lincolnshire is above the national average, this could be a sign that victims feel more confident about coming forwards.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a huge challenge, with perpetrators taking advantage of the restrictions to intensify their abuse and support services transforming the way they deliver services at very short notice,” the report states.

“Overall, agencies have reported increased demand for services in 2020/21 and many are now helping more people than ever before.

“Service use during the pandemic has followed a distinct pattern, with falling demand for domestic abuse support services during lockdowns with a surge when lockdown restrictions were released.”

If anyone needs support, they can contact the Blue Door online or on their helpline 0800 197 4787.

The charity Refuge runs a 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247.

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