British MPs demand urgent action to tackle rise in domestic abuse during lockdown

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Urgent action is needed to tackle a rise in domestic abuse, triggered by the stay-at-home advice under the coronavirus lockdown, according to a group of MPs.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee warned that without urgent steps to address the issue, families and communities would be dealing with the “devastating consequences” for a generation to come.

While the committee welcomed a public information campaign launched by the government earlier this month, it said ministers needed to go further with a full action plan led by the home secretary.

The committee said the plan should include access to information and support, prevention and outreach, housing support and refuge accommodation, as well as a “strong criminal justice response”.

Calls to helplines for victims have increased markedly – with evidence incidents were becoming more complex and serious with “higher levels of violence and coercive control”.

One organisation – Counting Dead Women – has calculated that between 23 March, when the lockdown began, and 12 April there were at least 16 domestic abuse killings of women and children.

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