With all the conversation surrounding wellbeing and isolation during the pandemic, it can be easily overlooked that, for some, remaining indoors is a worse option than risking exposure to COVID-19. In fact, a 33% rise in domestic violence reports was recorded during the first nationwide lockdown, and there was a further 5% increase recorded during the Euro 2020 tournament.
While there have been efforts from the government to counter this ‘Shadow Pandemic’, the issue has nonetheless persisted. That is why it is incredibly important that we all do our part to recognise and act upon the signs of domestic violence.
Warning signs for domestic abuse include changes in a person’s behaviour, a sudden drop in performance, mentions of controlling or coercive behaviour in partners, or physical signs such as bruising. If you suspect that a colleague may be in an abusive situation, take them aside and give them space to open up. Be sensitive and discrete, allowing them to talk honestly and openly. If they are uncomfortable doing so, consider offering a more appropriate point of contact, such as a colleague from Human Resources or an Employee Assistance Programme.
If the challenges of the pandemic continue to negatively impact your mental health, take the time to speak to family, friends or co-workers, and remember that we are ready and able to offer advice through our 24/7 helpline and new online resources.