Clare Walker – Campaigning for change and raising awareness of Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control, throughout the COVID Pandemic.
As we keep saying and reflecting how Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has created precedented times and the many changes in the world around us.
Not least for Clare Walker Consulting Ltd, in terms of increasing and raising awareness of domestic abuse and coercive control.
It has been quite an unusual time for a variety of reasons, such as the different platforms that I have been requested to attend, speak or quote to.
BBC Interviews: COVID and the Domestic Abuse Statistics
BBC South Today journalists contacted me and requested my view, input and an interview about coercive control and the disparity between, the police stats on domestic abuse calls compared to Refuge statistics during the lockdown.
We know that within the first couple of weeks of lockdown, we went from two women a week being murdered up to five women a week being murdered. I believe there is formally confirmed six children that have been murdered by their abusive fathers during the lockdown, undoubtedly there will be more, and that’s just for those cases logged as domestic abuse, many more won’t be.
Last, I heard we had 35 women had been murdered in England and Wales by their perpetrator or ex-perpetrator, during lockdown. Domestic Abuse is the continuous pandemic within the Coronavirus pandemic. The increased levels of intensified abuse has gone off the radar, which includes Trafficking, Temporary Marriages, Honour Based Violence and Abuse as well as Female Genital Mutilation. The charity KarmaNirvana reported a 700% increase in calls to their helpline – in one day!
BBC South Today journalists had applied for a Freedom of Information Request from all 45 police forces across England and Wales. The statistics that they were getting back were showing a huge disparity when compared to domestic abuse charities; Refuge reported a 1000% increase in calls received. The gaps are created by policies and practice not being fit for purpose, bias views, in our communication and partnership working. As always, and despite the changes we have made over the years, including legislative changes, there is still a massive gap that victims fall through.
The initial story broke on 27 May 2020, with an article on the BBC News website followed by:
- BBC Breakfast news
- Victoria Derbyshire show live interview with myself and Natasha, who is a campaigner and survivor herself.
- The storyline and snippets were aired throughout the day…
- BBC News Channel, hourly updates
- BBC Radio 2 new headlines
- BBC Radio 4 news headlines.
- BBC South Today early evening news
- Plus another interview which was also on East Midlands Today
Clare Walker Campaigning for Change
All of the above brought a great deal of media coverage, creating a whole heap more opportunities to campaign for change and raising awareness of domestic abuse and coercive control!
David Challen contacted me and asked if he could quote me in The Observer (31/05/20) article he did, which was to mark a year on since his mother; Sally Challen was released from prison, and reflecting on what has changed since her release regarding Coercive Control. Which tragically is little to no change.
A Barrister from St. Ives Chambers, requested I participate as a Guest Speaker alongside Dr Emma Katz. This event was a recorded webinar (04/06/20) the topic was Coercive Control and Family Court failings. You can watch the webinar here.
I was contacted by Lord Louis Selwyn, a delightful chap, who is Honourary Chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group Association in the House of Lords. On the 11 June 2020 that is precisely what I did. The topic again, was regarding Coercive Control and looking at how health services are designed and commissioned – for victims of Domestic Abuse, there are quite a few changes that could be made to enable a health practitioner to respond appropriately, efficiently and with compassion. I was also invited to complete a 2 page article on Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control to be published in the next edition of the CCGA Journal.
All in all, a busy few weeks of speaking on different platforms and in different arenas. Which has enabled victim’s knowledge, practitioners and commissioners, too. If we are going to go anyway, as a society to address and respond to domestic Abuse especially Coercive Control – then there are many changes needed in future, if we are going to be able to reduce trauma and save lives.
If you would like Clare Walker to appear as an expert guest or speaker for interviews, events or conferences, please get in touch, or for more information see the Expert Speaker page.
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