6. Accessing support
Many services have engaged with victims who have reported it is not safe for them to contact support services due to the constant presence, and in some cases monitoring behaviours, of the perpetrator. Many organisations reported support calls were being cut short or that they were unable to make contact with victims, who later communicated that they had been unable to respond due to the presence of the perpetrator in the house.
Digital exclusion has been reported as a barrier to engaging with some clients, particularly as Wi-Fi and video-conferencing apps are relied upon for contact with support services. This was particularly challenging for women staying in temporary accommodation due to fleeing abuse. In some cases, where women had some limited device/internet access, this was prioritised for their children to allow them access to home schooling.