A DOMESTIC abuse charity has warned there could be more indirect deaths during the coronavirus outbreak caused by self-isolation keeping victims trapped in dangerous homes.

Clydebank Women’s Aid (CWA) made the blunt statement as women and children face the prospect of potentially months in close proximity to abusers.

They say perpetrators could exert “total control” over families through every aspect of a woman’s life as schools and workplaces are closed off as safe spaces from abuse.

The charity told the Post: “During this period of uncertainty, the coronavirus pandemic is filling us with fears of the unknown; however, for women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse it will also be accompanied by terror in the one place that should be their sanctuary – home.

“The reality is that isolation, and a lockdown, allows abusers to exert total control over women, children and young people, and this puts their lives at risk.

“The closure of workplaces limits women’s financial independence – a key aspect of domestic abuse. Financial abuse is a key element of coercive control, a pattern of behaviours abusers use to gain total control (not physical).

“This means that whilst the majority of the country has stockpiled food, medicine and other necessities to ensure their families are in a secure position for the weeks to come, women who are experiencing domestic abuse were unable to do so.

“During times of sickness, often a tactic of abusers is to withhold medical care, which is particularly worrying during this pandemic.

“Coronavirus will kill, but not in the way we initially anticipate.”

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West Dunbartonshire already suffers one of the worst rates for domestic abuse in the country. But CWA vowed to do all they could to support women and their families.

The group said they would continue to review how they respond to the pandemic.

They said: “We will make decisions about the provision of our service based on information as it becomes available, taking into account the safety and well-being of our staff and women, children and young people we support.

“Our commitment to supporting women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse remains unchanged.”

National charity Scottish Women’s Aid said they would support local groups and abuse survivors.

Dr Marsha Scott, chief executive, added: “The women’s aid movement in Scotland is built on the shoulders of women who, when faced with intense challenges, found a way.

“In the face of great uncertainty now, we will do the same, and our commitment to the protection of women, children and young people remains steadfast.”

CWA said women experiencing domestic abuse have a statutory right to temporary accommodation from local authorities.

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is available 24/7 via phone on 0800 027 1234.

CWA can be contacted at 0141 952 8118, collective.clydebankwa@gmail.com or via clydebankwomensaid.com.