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Domestic abuse victims may leave home to seek refuge

Home Secretary clarifies rules during coronavirus emergency

Domestic abuse victims are permitted to leave home to seek help at refuges despite the imposition of emergency rules to stop the spread of coronavirus, the home secretary has said.

Priti Patel told the Mail on Sunday that the Government was aware that the strict isolation rules had left people trapped in domestic situations which they had been fighting to escape.

She said:

"I am acutely aware that the necessary guidelines about social distancing and self-isolation may leave the victims of hidden crime, such as domestic abuse and child sexual abuse, feeling especially isolated, vulnerable and exposed."

She added:

"I also want to make clear – whilst our advice is to stay at home, anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, is still able to leave and seek refuge. Refuges remain open, and the police will provide support to all individuals who are being abused – whether physically, emotionally, or otherwise."

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