Family department Solicitor Carol Hancock is an expert in domestic abuse and its effect on families. Here she looks at the current situation.
One of the most unfortunate and lesser reported effects of COVID-19 has been how domestic abuse has risen. There are complex reasons for this that start with the obvious of families being in close proximity and ending with the way that abusers have used the pandemic to increase their control.
We need to be clear that an abusive person will remain so even in times of global crisis. The increased tensions in the home are made worse by the abuser having another set of rules to impose, interpret and manipulate. People will have been living in constant anxiety and dread as a result.
Whatever the reasons and however complex the issues are, the stark result has been appalling. The number of partners and children killed by their partner has risen 100 per cent in the lockdown and all domestic abuse charities are reporting large upsurges in numbers of people seeking help.
At McCormicks we have noticed a large upturn in cases surrounding children. Whether to move children between households has been a major issue and so much that the President of the Family Court Division intervened to make it clear that children can move between the homes of separated parents. This does not mean that they must. The guidance is narrow and has been subject to abuse and so if you need any advice about that or any other family issue please contact us.
Aside from that please stay safe and note that charities and advice services such as IDAS 03000110110 and Gingerbread gingerbread.co.uk are operating to assist. Again, if you need advice and guidance, even just to signpost then please contact us.