Domestic abuse is one of the highest priorities for Government

Domestic Abuse is one of the highest priorities for Government. As part of its strategy, the Government is widening the definition of domestic violence to include non-physical, economic abuse, controlling and coercive behaviour as part of developing the existing National Strategy on Domestic Abuse.

The Government was acutely aware of the likelihood of the increased risk of domestic abuse during the Covid period and as such, the national strategy was brought into sharper focus.

During the lockdown period, a specific Covid-19 Domestic Abuse working group made up of professionals from all stakeholder departments, and extended to include a representative from Women in Need, was appointed for this purpose so that all agencies were prepared to deal with the anticipated influx of cases. Specific focused systems were established to ensure that any victims of domestic abuse would be able to receive the help and support needed on a multi agency basis. Measures also included increasing the number of secure accommodation made available to victims and families should the need arise.

In addition, the situation was monitored daily at the platinum level of command to ensure that there were no spikes.