CAROLINE ANSELL MP: Support for victims of domestic abuse during coronavirus lockdown

During this crisis much humour has been shared on the Internet about the present lockdown, as well as all the all-important information we need to keep safe and beat Coronavirus.

The great British sense of humour is very much alive and lots has been made of everyone having to be at home ‘doing nothing’ to help the country.

I’ve laughed out loud and shared a few memes myself. It’s undeniably good therapy.

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However, for many people at risk or who are victims of domestic abuse being at home is not the sanctuary or a light hearted sacrifice for the national good, but a dangerous place.

It doesn’t need a great deal of imagination to understand that being forced to live at close quarters, in such a pressured time as this, without much chance of keeping a distance is a recipe for much heartache and worse.

The government has recognised this and there is advice available online to help victims, information for those who are worried someone might be a victim of domestic abuse and links to organisations that can help.

Ministers have also been clear; the police must continue to support victims of domestic abuse at this challenging time.

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Charities are still available to help and, crucially, victims can leave their home to seek help and refuge, if necessary.

This is so not perfect but it is what we have in this present crisis. Everyone needs to be aware and neighbours and families need to be vigilant and supportive if problems arise.

Also, an important piece of advice is this: if you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999, and then press 55.

This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

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I’ve had a week back in Eastbourne self-isolating now after being at Westminster to help pass emergency legislation.

Calls, emails and other correspondence as well as the now normal remote video meetings continue at pace. There is much to do to help constituents.

In all this maelstrom, myself, my husband Nick and the boys have moved into temporary accommodation in Eastbourne to allow my parents to self-isolate.

It was a tough decision but the right one to keep them safe in these challenging times.

It only remains for me to say, Dear Eastbourne - keep safe, stay at home, support the NHS and save lives.