Health Corner

Dr Yuheng Zhou

(All views her own)

Trigger warning: discussion on domestic abuse

2020 has been quite a rollercoaster year for many. This month, I would like to highlight a topic that has become increasingly important to talk about, especially with the necessary lockdown and social distancing regulations. For victims of domestic abuse, the advice of ‘stay at home’ and ‘work at home’ brings more fear than reassurance.

From the 25th November to 10th December there is an international campaign called ’16 Days of Action against Domestic Violence’  (DV) which takes a different theme each year. This year it is aimed at businesses to do more to aid their employees who are enduring domestic abuse, train those who witness it and to protect staff as a whole.

With the changing workplace and working from home being encouraged this year, along with self-isolating, it will become more challenging to employers and indeed for friends, families and neighbours to pick up the signs of domestic abuse. 

Facts and figures from the workplace

  • 25% of women and 16% of men are affected by domestic violence during adulthood
  • 58% of abused women miss at least 3 days of work a month
  • 56% of abused women arrive late for work at least 5 times
  • 5% of men and 7% of women in England and Wales experienced domestic violence last year
  • 33% of all DV homicides happened on workplace grounds

More resources on

If you need urgent police help through 999 service but cannot speak freely, stay on the line and an automated message will ask you to press ‘55’. This will transfer your call to the police who will help you.

Themes of Domestic Abuse: 

How can I tell if my friend or loved one is experiencing domestic abuse? Indicators include but may not be limited to:

  • Excuses for injuries 
  • Personality changes
  • Constantly checking in with their partner
  • Never having money on hand
  • Overly worried about pleasing partner
  • Skipping out on work / school / social engagements for no clear reason
  • Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season (i.e. to hide marks and bruises) 

Useful links

For Women (or if you are worried about someone): Refuge National Domestic Abuse 24-hr helpline 0808 2000 247

For Men: Men’s advice line 0808 8010327

For Children: 

NSPCC: for concerns about a child 0808 800 5000

Childline: for help and support for children and young people 0800 1111

If you are worried that you are abusive, you can get help on the Respect helpline 0808 802 4040

Dr Yuheng Zhou is a Teddington resident and a Paediatric Consultant at Hillingdon Hospital

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