COVID-19 has been a difficult time for everyone and the Greater Manchester Police Department (GMP) would like to remind communities that they are still there for the victims of crime, including those affected by domestic violence.

As we all spent more time at home due to lockdown restrictions and the increased pressure COVID is putting on our communities; Concerns remain about the risks of domestic violence, which occurs behind closed doors, and for some there is no way out.

In addition, face-to-face contact has been extremely limited and the support available has been potentially inaccessible to many.

Now that we can spend more time with family and friends, GMP is urging everyone to look out for signs of domestic violence and forced inspections. If you are concerned about someone you know, you could be that victim’s voice, especially for those trapped at home with their abuser.

It is also important to highlight the risks for those who break up with an abusive relationship, as the threat level to a victim can remain high, if not increase in certain circumstances. Not only can the abuser pose a risk, with heightened emotions after a breakup, it can also be difficult for victims to come to terms with the abuse they have experienced and to think about the life ahead.

Regardless of when domestic violence incidents occurred, reports should still be made and help is available to anyone affected by this type of crime.

Detective Superintendent Gwyn Dodd said, “We know that COVID-19 is and continues to be an extremely challenging situation for all.

“The lockdown meant our communities faced a rapidly changing environment that posed many challenges, and while the restrictions have eased – we know this could highlight other issues that may not have been highlighted during the lockdown.

“Domestic abuse remains a top priority for GMP, and we continue to adapt our resources and approaches to ensure that we are doing our part to protect vulnerable members of society.

“We want to remind our local communities that we are there for you, whether you have been a victim of domestic violence or are in any way affected by domestic violence. If you’ve spoken to a friend or family member and are concerned about their time at home during the lockdown, please contact us.

“We are closely monitoring incidents of domestic violence to determine the impact of COVID-19 and we want to remind everyone that support is available to anyone who may need it, from us or other support services, both locally in Greater Manchester and UK-wide

“If you are a victim of domestic violence or are concerned about someone you know, please use our online report function or the LiveChat on our website or dial 101. In an emergency or when your life is in danger, always dial 999.

“Alternatively, Greater Manchester Victim Services can provide independent emotional and practical support to anyone affected by crime. You can contact the service by visiting the website https://www.gmvictims.org.uk/ or by calling 0161 200 1950. “

Every month GMP organizes an anonymous DA Q&A together with partners. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to join where you can get direct support from specialist teams both within GMP and external support services. The next chat will take place on Thursday, June 24th, between 6pm and 8pm and all questions can be asked anonymously.

Further information will be published on the Greater Manchester Police Facebook page in due course.

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