Here's the latest Argus column by Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds:

PERHAPS more than ever, our homes are a place of refuge, somewhere we can feel safe despite everything that is going on in the world.

But there are so many people for whom staying at home is dangerous.

Unfortunately, all the evidence shows that domestic abuse in homes has surged amid the Covid-19 lockdown.


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It’s right that we’ve all been staying at home whenever possible to stop the spread. But for someone being abused by a partner or parent this situation is so different.

For too many people, an order to stay at home has the effect of giving even more power to someone who they should be able to trust, but who is exercising control over them, hurting them or threatening their safety.

That’s why, as shadow home secretary, I have called on the government to step in and act, to help the front-line charities who are helping to protect victims who are in urgent need of funding to help them do their vital work.

On average, two women are killed every week by a current or former partner in England and Wales.

Victims need assistance to enable them to escape abuse and find safe and suitable accommodation, especially in these difficult times.

As shadow home secretary, I have pledged to make their voice heard in the national debate and will keep pressing the government to act.

During the continued unprecedented times, I would like to give my thanks to all the local groups and volunteers who have responded so brilliantly in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The churches, community centres, local groups, food banks and individuals who’ve helped others are all local heroes and, alongside the key workers who’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty.

I’ve pitched in myself, helping Noddfa Church with their food deliveries. What struck me is that everyone locally has been doing their bit, from councillors of all parties contributing to get supplies, and assistance in the running of local centres, to people picking up prescriptions for others, delivering food or just taking the time to call others who are having to self-isolate.

Our community is truly special, especially when times are tough. I hope that’s something we remember one day, when we all hope coronavirus will be just a distant memory.