Lambeth Council has given funding to domestic violence charity Refuge to help workers connect with victims during the Covid-19 outbreak.  

Victims are much more at risk of abuse when trapped at home with the perpetrators.  

The money is going towards laptops for workers to increase their ability to connect and provide help to victims as the country isolates.  

Councillor Ed Davie, Lambeth’s cabinet member for health and adult social care, said the council wanted to support organisations which work to protect people. 

“Lambeth Council is doing everything it can to support our residents, particularly the most vulnerable, during this difficult time.  

“Domestic abuse causes a huge amount of harm, especially to women and children, and with people cooped up due to coranavirus this is a particular threat at the moment.  

“We want to support those, like Refuge, who are working to protect people and this initiative is just part of our efforts. 

“Lambeth Council has a long and proud record of tackling domestic violence and abuse and giving refuge to those escaping it. 

“Even in times of government cuts to council budgets we have invested in domestic violence prevention services because no-one should experience violence and abuse anywhere including their home,” he said.  

Refuge thanked Lambeth and five other councils, Southwark, Richmond, Barking and Dagenham, Derbyshire, and Cambridgeshire, who also gave funding.  

“A massive thank you to those local councils who have provided funding for laptops so our Domestic abuse workers can continue their lifesaving work as safely as possible,” the charity tweeted.  

It comes as a host of domestic violence organisations signed a letter to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) calling for more funding.  

The letter, composed by the Public Interest Law Centre and Solace Women’s Aid, demands “urgent action is taken for survivors of domestic violence during Covid-19” and said domestic abuse incidents have already risen due to the lockdown.  

It quoted figures in China which saw a threefold increase in cases during the outbreak.  

“Under normal circumstances, spending time indoors is often unsafe for those experiencing domestic abuse, and other forms of VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls).  

“However, during lockdown the danger to women is exacerbated as they are unable to leave their homes.  

“Survivors are likely to be subject to higher rates of violence and abuse and will find it increasingly difficult to obtain support from family, friends and access local services.  

“Infection control measures such as self-isolation and social distancing will be used by perpetrators as a further tool of coercive and controlling behaviour,” it said.