Safer saw four times as many children than 2020

GUERNSEY’S domestic abuse charity, Safer, saw more than four times as many children in February in need of their support, compared to the same time last year.

 (Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Up until 22 February, 22 children were referred to them, up from five from the previous year.

In addition, in the same period the number of adults who have been referred to them has doubled from 10 to 20. The charity said lockdown had ‘exacerbated the abuse’.

With the island ready to move to Stage 2 today bringing hope to islanders, the charity shed some light on what this meant for those who would still need them.

‘We, along with everyone in our community, are looking forward with hope towards our progression out of lockdown and the return to many of our much missed freedoms,’ said the charity’s frontline services manager and independent domestic violence advisor, who cannot be named due to the risk of identifying victims.

‘However, we also know that this sadly will not mean an end to those living with and experiencing domestic abuse.

‘Lockdown has clearly exacerbated the abuse experienced by some victims, including children and with the removal of their normal safe spaces such as friends, work and school, possibly left them more isolated and alone with their abusers, in what must feel a very frightening space.’

They added, however, that lockdown was not the cause of domestic abuse.

‘Domestic abuse is not an argument, high emotions or an exchange of words,’ they said.

‘It is a pattern of behaviour where one person seeks to dominate another and have control over them.’

Their message was for those in the community who maybe feeling scared in their relationships or at home, who were experiencing domestic abuse or are unsure if it was – they were there to listen, support and help in any way needed.

Bailiwick law Enforcement also recently reached out to those affected by domestic abuse, publishing a video to share the important message that it was not okay to subject others to domestic abuse and violence.

They asked people to seek support whenever possible and not to ‘suffer in silence’.

  • To contact Safer, call 721999 or Guernsey Police on 725111.

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