Since social distancing began (or “physical distancing”, according to new WHO guidelines), and then the lockdown, many have expressed concerns that the close proximity that we’re forced to live in, coupled with pre-existing relationship issues, could lead to a spike in domestic violence.
Statistics have shown that intimate partner violence is one of the leading causes of femicide, so these concerns are not only valid, but worrying when you take into account the added pressures of isolation.
In Britain, these fears have been realised in the worst possible way.
Anthony Williams, 69, has been charged with murder after his wife was found dead in their home, in what The Telegraph is calling the UK’s first “self-isolation” murder.
Neighbours said the couple had lived in their semi-detached home in Brynglas, Cwmbran, South Wales, for around 20 years and were both retired.
Mrs Williams (below) worked at a local supermarket “for many many years”.
Mr Williams, who used to work as an engineer, appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court […] for a two-minute hearing in which he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.
Neighbours were shocked by the news, as the couple had lived in the area for a number of years and were well known in their community. One neighbour remarked that they “seemed like nice people”.
Rachel Williams, of Stand Up to Domestic Abuse, said: “We know there’s a massive influx likely and it will be a pandemic on a pandemic.”
Rachel, who was shot and severely wounded by her late husband Darren after years of domestic abuse, said: “The perpetrators and the victims would normally spend some parts of the day in work or socialising.
Without access to the outside world, victims often don’t have the option of reaching out or speaking to others who could help them.
If you’re in a dangerous situation, there are ways to reach out in South Africa. Here’s a list of all essential contacts, including the Women Abuse Hotline, and The Gender-Based Violence Command Centre:
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