UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Friday 19 July 2024
 13.8°C   S Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Community / Domestic abuse agencies highlight increased risk during pandemic

Image supplied by Shetland Domestic Abuse Partnership.

SHETLAND’s domestic abuse partnership and the local Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis branches are reminding the community of the increased risk of domestic abuse and sexual violence during the coronavirus pandemic.

The partnership said while it is challenging for everyone to remain at home and be socially isolated, it is “even more difficult and unsafe for people living in an abusive relationship”.

“The current social restrictions designed to help protect all of us are giving abusers additional ways of controlling, isolating and causing harm,” it added.

Shetland Rape Crisis, Shetland Women’s Aid, Police Scotland and Shetland Islands Council are all continuing to work to help and support anyone affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Lead officer for adult and child protection, Kate Gabb – speaking as a member of the Shetland Domestic Abuse Partnership – said: “We’re well aware that the current restrictions on movement will be placing a strain on many households.

“Where anyone is in an abusive or controlling relationship, this might only make things worse and I’d urge them to contact one of the agencies if they feel that they need some support.”

Shetland Rape Crisis service manager Lisa Ward, meanwhile, said: “We know that the vast majority of people who experience sexual violence are affected by someone known to them, quite often within their own family or by their own partner/spouse.

“This means that some people in Shetland are currently stuck at home with their perpetrators for prolonged spells, at a time where anxiety and stress is high for everyone meaning that some perpetrators are even more likely to offend, and to offend with more violence. This is incredibly difficult for survivors.”

Ward said the charity is also “acutely aware” of the risk for children at home with their perpetrators.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“Childhood sexual abuse is a significant problem in Shetland and our stats show that around 40 per cent of our clients first experienced sexual violence under the age of 16,” she added.

“With schools closed and children and young people at home, the opportunity for perpetrators to offend is increased.

“In addition, even for survivors whose immediate home situation is safe, the lack of access to normal coping mechanisms and stabilising factors such as spending time with friends and family, working alongside others, working out at the gym, and other group hobbies and clubs, means that people will be struggling with their mental health and experiencing more symptoms of trauma such as flashbacks, anxiety, and dissociation.”

Shetland Women’s Aid manager Laura Stronach, meanwhile, said the organisation had seen an increase in demand from current clients, but no increase in referrals at the moment.

This is to be expected, though, as it is “very difficult for someone to escape in lockdown”.

Contact details for a range of organisations – including Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis – can be found on the Safer Shetland website.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.