Capacity and demand: the impact of Covid-19

Briefing on the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on domestic abuse services

At the outset of the pandemic, the domestic abuse sector was already under strain from a lack of resourcing and increasing demand for services such as Maracs (multi-agency risk assessment conferences).

Following the announcement of the first lockdown, we launched several surveys to explore what challenges were being experienced across the sector. This data, along with our annual practititioner survey, has been been brought together in this briefing paper.

Our analysis shows that many domestic abuse services have seen an increased demand since the outbreak of Covid-19. However, demand has fluctuated and has been influenced by Covid-19 restrictions.

Referral demand only shows part of the picture – service capacity is affected by multiple factors including funding limitations, staff and partner availability and increased complexity of client needs.


We believe that we will see a massive increase after lockdown as people are struggling to access us at the moment - we have seen a 50% increase in traffic to our website so we know people want support

DA frontline Covid-19 survey
  • 52%

    of services had to reduce service delivery

    during Covid-19 restrictions

  • 13%

    of services said they had unsafe staffing levels

    during Covid-19 restrictions

  • 90%

    of specialist services reported an increase in demand

    since the Covid-19 pandemic

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Shadow Pandemic

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