Fewer domestic violence victims sought help last year
The number of domestic violence victims who reported to shelters decreased significantly during the coronavirus lockdowns, NRC found after speaking to regional organizations, hotlines, and trade associations involved in helping these victims. They said that domestic violence did not decrease, but victims had fewer opportunities to ask for help.
The Biljf Groep, an aid organization that helps domestic violence victims in Noord-Holland and Flevoland, saw admissions to places of safety fall by almost 50 percent during the lockdowns. Moviera, which has four shelters in the east of the Netherlands, reported similar figures.
The number of acute admissions fell everywhere, Esme Wiegman, director of Valente, a trade association for aid organizations that work for victims of domestic violence, said to the newspaper. Veilig Thuis, a national network of regional hotlines, received more questions from callers, but official reports to aid organizations and the police decreased.
Valente said that the number of domestic violence reports picked up again after the coronavirus measures were relaxed this summer. There was also a sharp increase in reports of child abuse.
Reporting by ANP