SURVIVORS of domestic abuse have been seeking help as coronavirus lockdown triggers painful memories of previous experiences.

Pendle Domestic Violence Initiative (PDVI) said during the first lockdown, they witnessed more people recovering from domestic violence calling for emotional support as being locked at home brought back awful memories.

Domestic abuse service manager, Jen Gore said: “We saw an increase of, not just incidents, but lockdown reminding people who were recovering from domestic abuse of previous experiences.

“It reminded them of when they were isolated and not to see their family, not to see their friends, not to go out of their home - the times were reminding them of what they were recovering from. It wasn’t just about the safety, but was also about the emotional support people needed as well.”

One in five offences – more than a quarter of a million – recorded by police during and immediately after the first national lockdown in England and Wales last year involved domestic abuse, according to the Office for National Statistics and there are fears of similar figures emerging amid the latest wave of restrictions.

Jen is concerned people may struggle again with the new lockdown, however she is appreciative Prime Minister Boris Johnson specifically mentioned escaping domestic violence as a reason to leave home in last Monday’s lockdown announcement.

PDVI is now asking people to reach out if they need support during the lockdown in both dealing with domestic violence incidents and the emotional trauma while recovering.

Jen continued: “You never really recover from it. People rely on the support network for support.

“For a lot of people, it has brought back flashbacks of what that time was like with not being able to see people and being told to stay at home. It’s been really difficult in their recovery from the trauma so emotional support has been vital.

“We have had people come forward saying thank you about what we have posted on our social media as they have realised what they are experiencing is connected to the abuse and trauma they have previously experienced."

You can contact Pendle Domestic Violence Initiative by calling 01282 726000 or on their website - if you need emergency assistance, please call 999.