With lockdown expecting to continue until mid-March, the pressure on families is even greater and relationships can be tested beyond limits.
In 2020, there were 16,873 incidents of domestic abuse reported to West Mercia Police. This figure increased from 16,753 in 2019.
Between December 21 last year and January 1 this year, 526 incidents were reported.
This makes up more than three per cent of the total number of crimes logged for the year.
West Mercia Police is raising awareness of the Action Needed Immediately (ANI) scheme, which can be used by victims in need of help.
Superintendent Mo Lansdale said: “We’re very aware that during lockdown it has been increasingly more difficult for victims to escape domestic abuse and violence.
"Domestic abuse perpetrators are using the restrictions to control, manipulate and instil fear in their victims and I would like to offer my assurances to victims of domestic abuse that if they need to leave their home to escape the abuse then they can do so.
"The current Covid-19 restrictions do not apply to victims of domestic abuse seeking refuge and they are able to leave their home to go to a place of safety, including another household outside of any bubble they may be in.
"We do not want victims of domestic abuse to feel they cannot escape further harm due to the current regulations.
“Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background and for some it may be difficult to seek support which is why we’re pleased to be supporting ANI. ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately. If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need help, you can visit a participating pharmacy and ask for ANI.
"Participating pharmacies will display the Ask for ANI logo, which means they’re ready to help. They will offer you a private space, provide a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.”