A Perfect Storm

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors and the services supporting them

Sarah Davidge, Research and Evaluation, Women’s Aid

Contributors

This report uses research and content by the report author and other contributors as part of a Women’s aid research project looking at the impact of Covid-19 on domestic abuse. We would like to thank Josie Austin, Sangeeta Kalia, Lizzie Magnusson, Kat Mann, Phoebe Nicholson-Pallet, Steph Nixon, Imogen Parkes, Maia Samuel, Sarika Seshadri and Katie Smith for their invaluable contribution to this research project.

Introduction

At the end of February 2020, authorities in the UK confirmed that the first case of the Covid-19 virus had been transmitted inside the country. By the 5th June 2020, the UK Covid-19 death
toll had surpassed 40,000. Measures to control the spread of the virus and ensure that the NHS was able to cope with demand came into force in March 2020. On the 16th March, people were asked to work from home where they could; on the 20th March, schools were closed and on the 23rd March, a televised address to the nation by Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the country into ‘lockdown’. We were instructed that we could only go outside to buy food, to exercise once a day, or to go to work (if we absolutely could not work from home). We were told that fines could be imposed for failure to comply with these new measures. The government began to ease lockdown measures at the end of May but some restrictions remain in place at the time of writing…

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