Worldwide reports point up and increase in domestic violence in the wake of the global lockdown associated with the deadly coronavirus outbreak and Bermuda is no different.
Speaking at the latest goverment briefing on the impact of COVID-19 in Bermuda, Premier David Burt took time out “to speak to those who may be suffering at home with domestic violence”.
“Unfortunately, when you have orders such as Shelter in Place, you will unfortunately see an increase in the risk of domestic violence,” he said.
“If you are in an unsafe situation, have any concerns for your safety.
“If you’re being abused, emotionally, sexually, physically, contact the police, or call the Centre Against Abuse at 292 4366, or their 24 hour hotline on 297 8278.
“If you’re in a situation where you feel unsafe and you can’t get to a phone, please feel free to leave your house and go to the police or make sure you report in at one of these checkpoints,” he said.
“The last thing that we want is persons to suffer in silence at home, under the hand of domestic abuse,” he added.
“This government is committed to giving you the support, which you need to get out of an unsafe environment, and we’ll work with our community partners to ensure that you and or your families can have a safe environment, during this crisis.
“Please do not suffer at home,” said Premier Burt.
As the Shelter in Place order continues until May 2, he said: “Our overall aim is to save lives by limiting the transmission, by reducing non-essential movement of everyone in Bermuda to ensure that the number of COVID-19 positive cases require who hospitalization, to not overwhelm the hospital.
“The only way we can do that is by persons following instructions and remaining at home.
“On Friday, Parliament will meet, and we’ll be passing the extension to the emergency order related to Shelter in Place.
There have been suggested modifications that while maintaining social distance and Shelter in Place will help to address some of the concerns that you have expressed surrounding the services available to the public.”
Those details will be provided by the Minister of National Security at today’s briefing at 5:30pm.
“The enforcement of social distancing is one of the key public health measures that will reduce transmission of this highly contagious disease.
“And as a reminder, until the Shelter in Place ends on May 2, you must still remain on your property and can only leave for the permitted uses.
“And if you do go outside continue to maintain your social distance and make sure that you wear a face covering,” said Mr Burt.
In closing, he issued another reminder on false information being circulated during this lockdown.
“An Instagram account that belonged to me was cloned,” said the Premier.
“I want to remind all persons in Bermuda that you will never be asked for money by a Government Minister or anyone in Government online.
“Do not send money to anyone through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any social media platform,” he said.
“If you have any concerns about any messages you have received, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit cybertips.bm.