Butler calls on PM to classify domestic violence professionals as key workers

Elliot Chappell

Dawn Butler has called on Boris Johnson to “urgently reconsider” the decision to omit domestic violence professionals from the list of ‘key workers’.

Labour’s women and equalities spokesperson wrote to the Prime Minister today after the publication of ‘key worker’ definitions, released ahead of school closures.

Schools across the country are set to close from today to everyone except for the children of key workers – such as NHS staff – and those who have special needs.

In a letter to the Prime Minister today, Butler wrote: “We know that domestic violence increases during holiday periods, so self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic will only add additional stress to that scenario and there will be an increase in need for survivors to access refuges.”

She added: “The government must now urgently reconsider their decision to omit domestic violence professionals from the list of key workers and also consider additional measures, such as increased and emergency funding, to alleviate and ensure those in danger can escape domestic abuse during the crisis.”

The list of key workers published this morning includes those working in the health and social care sectors, but also identifies others such as charity or religious workers who might be supporting the community.

The provision of childcare for certain people is intended to enable schools to close while not hindering those with essential jobs that need to continue working.

There are currently 3,269 recorded cases of Covid-19 in the UK and so far a total of 145 people in the country have died after testing positive for the virus.

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