Domestic violence 'spike' during Covid lockdown
- Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive
Domestic violence has spiked since the first Covid lockdown with the number of children witnessing abuse also rising, a Brent Cross pastor has said.
Catherine Runsewe, a pastor at Jesus House For All The Nations Church, in Brent Terrace, said the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected women.
"Domestic violence has spiked over the pandemic," she said.
"There has been more domestic violence in homes because of the close proximity couples find themselves in. We provide a listening service but if it's really bad we refer them to social services."
Her charity, Grace to Grace, based in Croydon, partnered with the church to provide services, which enabled them to support more women and children suffering emotionally and mentally.
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Staff have spoken to more than 200 women offering counselling and support, they provide a friends service where they listen to survivors. Some pastors offer prayers.
The invisible victims of domestic violence are the children, Pastor Catherine added.
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"The impact of domestic abuse has really affected children who have seen their mothers beaten by their fathers, emotional abuse by their fathers and have seen it more because they are at home.
"Two to three months into lockdown Grace to Grace partnered with Jesus House to provide our services to the local community and congregation and the community at large.
"We have an online presence and able to do a lot more."
From March 25 to March 27, Jesus House is taking part in the free online 2021 Uncommon Women Conference.
Themed Audacious! Living fearless!, there will be three days of teachings, conversations, testimonies and worship.
Conference organisers believe there needs to be greater awareness of the mental impact the past year has had on women and how they can resource themselves to build greater resilience.
Thousands of women have had to give birth alone, there's been a childcare and employment crisis as schools closed and women in many countries are disproportionately on the frontline, working in the sectors most at risk.
The United Nations has warned that Covid-19 is likely to set gender equality back by decades.
For tickets to the Uncommon Women Conference click here