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The impact of the current CV-19 crisis is causing a spike in calls to Domestic Violence helplines – but there are obvious impediments to the sort of aid that would normally be available to those affected.
The current “lockdown”, involving social distancing and working from home, comes with its challenges. Many family units are experiencing the level of close contact that they would normally only experience at Christmas. The difference with this situation is that the closeness is enforced, shows no sign of ending quickly and is overshadowed by fears over money and job security. It is easy to see why there has been an increase in calls for help and support.
To be absolutely clear, while we can understand the pressures, domestic abuse in any form is not excusable.
Calls to DV helplines demonstrably increase at Christmas and the divorce rate increase in January. There is no doubt that this enforced closeness will have a similar effect. The police recorded a 25% increase in domestic abuse calls in the first two weeks of the lockdown alone.
But what about the relationships that are not violent? What about the relationships that are, frankly, miserable, but are not abusive? What happens to those whose relationship flaws are being exposed so cruelly but who are not resorting to violence and who are not prepared to give up?
Calm People have been helping people understand why they get angry for almost 10 years. They have been supporting individuals and groups in putting in place coping mechanisms to deal with the issues that feed into our angry behaviour. Issues such as stress, work addiction, low self-esteem and unhealthy relationship with feelings of vulnerability. These and many more aspects of our psychology often combine to cause often mild mannered and calm, on the surface, individuals of both sexes to explode or, more often, implode. Just because you don’t show your anger it doesn’t mean you are not angry.
Whether you explode, are a classic “passive-aggressive” or you think you hide it really well, those closest to you know what’s going on and they respond accordingly. Normally making accommodations, avoiding your trigger points and generally treading on eggshells around you.
There is another way. It is not easy but then relationships aren’t always easy. It involves understanding yourself better, working on your own emotional health and as a result laying to rest your demons leading to a happier life for you and those you live with or are close to.
There are however times when the relationship cannot be mended. If this is the case then the best thing that can be done is to confront the issue and seek expert advice. Experienced and reputable lawyers who are skilled in dealing with family cases sensitively and in a supportive manner, (with a commitment to alternatives to court such as mediation and arbitration), such as Fiona Apthorpe and Claire Dean at Geldards, can guide you through the process ensuring all parties are treated fairly, are heard, and, crucially, properly provided for. The earlier someone like Fiona or Claire is brought in, the less it costs in fees and heartache.
This enforced closeness may expose the fault lines in many relationships. It may cause painful decisions to be made, but they do not have to be made alone and there are people out there who can support you and keep you safe both in terms of appropriate legal advice and emotional support via Claire and Fiona, domestic violence helplines and of course the police.
Claire and Fiona are happy to take calls and enquiries on their mobile phones at this time which are
Fiona Apthorpe 07889 609992
Claire Dean 07423 451084