Sandra Horley, chief executive of a domestic violence charity “Refuge”, said: “We welcome the government’s support at this critical time. We have worked around the clock to ensure our frontline specialist services remain open and accessible to women experiencing domestic abuse.
“We hope the government’s campaign will reach the tens of thousands of women experiencing domestic abuse.”
The Home Office campaign, which is promoted under the Twitter hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, will encourage the public to show their solidarity for victims.
Her intervention came as hotel chains and women’s charities called on the government to offer alternative accommodation to help women and children escape domestic abuse.
Last week campaign groups Southall Black Sisters and Compassion in Politics wrote to hotel chains asking them to open up rooms to those fleeing abuse, including domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The response from hotels – including some of the country’s largest chains – has been overwhelmingly positive. However, the hoteliers say that the UK government must follow the lead of France and Italy and now offer financial support to underwrite the costs of opening their rooms and providing meals to occupants.
This week the Home Office will begin publishing adverts raising awareness of where people can seek help on social media. It will also announce it is working with charities and the domestic abuse commissioner to provide an additional information to bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support.
As cities have gone into lockdown across the world to stop the spread of coronavirus, incidents of domestic violence have reportedly increased. In China’s Hubei province, the centre of the initial coronavirus outbreak, domestic violence reports to police more than tripled in one county during the lockdown in February.
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