Domestic violence app sees 30% rise in alerts during coronavirus lockdown

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown is a real concern. (Getty Images)

Domestic violence cases during the coronavirus lockdown have risen in the UK since Boris Johnson announced new restrictions on 23 March.

The restrictions in place prohibit people from leaving their homes for all but essential reasons, which has highlighted the amount of people living with abusive partners, parents or family members.

Now, domestic violence app, Hollieguard, has announced a 30% rise in domestic violence alerts in the weeks following the lockdown.

The new figures come after Refuge announced a 25% rise in calls to its domestic violence helpline and pioneering project, Counting Dead Women, found that domestic abuse killings are suspected to have doubled since the lockdown started.

Read more: What is intimate partner violence?

The Hollieguard app allows victims of domestic violence to discreetly shake or tap their phone when they’re in danger.

The app will then alert a pre-determined emergency contact or - if the person doesn’t have somebody they trust - it will go through to a security service who will call the police on your behalf.

It was started by the Hollie Gazzard Trust after the 20-year-old was murdered by her ex-partner.

Read more: How to exit a toxic relationship

The government has made it clear that people who are suffering from domestic abuse do not need to adhere to the social distancing protocol if they feel they’re in danger.

“The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.” It advices.

The rise in cases has also seen the likes of Victoria Derbyshire use her platform on BBC news to share the Refuge domestic abuse helpline written on her hand.

People who are now out of their difficult situations as a result of Hollieguard have used Instagram to share their experiences, with people thanking its discreet useability for getting them out of “potentially fatal” situations.

Read more: Hairdressers are being trained to spot signs of domestic abuse

Mikkel Dissing, the founder and CEO of the company behind Hollieguard, Zecure and many other personal safety apps like it admits he’s “concerned” about the rise in alerts to the app during the lockdown.

“We’re pleased we can do our bit to help the country during what’s undoubtedly a difficult time for everybody and the rise in domestic violence alerts is definitely concerning.

“Working with the likes of the Hollie Gazzard Trust has allowed us to make a difference during the lockdown and I hope in sharing these figures we’re able to help as many domestic abuse victims out as possible.

“Please remember to take the government’s advice and leave your home if you feel like you’re in danger.” He added.