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Inverness Women's Aid prepares for possible increase in domestic abuse cases

By Alasdair Fraser

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There could be an upsurge in people looking for help with domestic abuse.
There could be an upsurge in people looking for help with domestic abuse.

A CHARITY working to protect women and children from domestic abuse is preparing for a possible increase in cases.

Inverness Women’s Aid (IWA) says it is currently experiencing a lower workload.

But executive manager Elaine Fetherston described her organisation as “hoping for the best, preparing for the worst” after the lockdown was extended for another three weeks.

Many of the charity’s clients live apart from abusers, but still experience problems related to threatening or violent behaviour.

The current lull is a source of cautious optimism, but evidence from other nations suggests there could be an upturn.

Support via calls, texts, email and Facebook Messenger is being provided by a team of 10 staff, who also work at supported refuge accommodation.

Ms Fetherston said: “We’ve been slightly quieter in the last three weeks, but that’s not to say contacts and referrals won’t increase.

“All we can do is make sure we are prepared and have enough capacity within our organisation to deal with whatever enquiries come in, in whatever quantity.”

Ms Fetherston is concerned the current quiet spell could be reflective of a pattern often seen over Christmas and new year.

She added: “We are only three weeks into the lockdown. It is very strange for everyone and we are all bedding in.

“It is very important that the current circumstances aren’t given credence as some kind of excuse for abusive behaviour.”

IWA can be contacted on 01463 220719, via Facebook or by emailing info@invernesswa.co.uk

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