The Victims’ Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, says:
I welcome the government decision to include victim support workers as “key workers”. The majority of workers in this sector are women, who are more likely to have responsibility for dependent children, so it is vital that they can access childcare as they continue to work to support those who may be facing serious harm or devastating trauma.
Obviously, the need for social isolation is essential if we are to combat the spread of the virus and we must recognise that it will be necessary for more support work to be undertaken remotely and not face to face.
Throughout this difficult period, it is so important that none of us lose sight of the potential dangers of thousands of adult and child victims of abuse being locked in with their perpetrators for potentially a period of months. It is reassuring that as a result of this decision, these victims will know there will be support available to them.
We know from a range of evidence that enforced isolation will inevitably result in an increase in domestic abuse and support organisations will need extra funding to cope with the increased demand in their services. I will be pressing the government for a commitment to give them the resources they need.