Reports of incidences of domestic violence have skyrocketed in the Amsterdam region since November 2021, leaving many people on refuge waiting lists, the Parool reports.
The Blijf Groep organisation, which provides a refuge for the mostly women with children who fall victim to the abuse, has been forced to rent hotel rooms on a permanent basis because it has run out of accommodation, manager Jolanda Vader told the paper.
‘Sometimes the situation is so dangerous… that we are left with no other choice,’ Vader said.
Blijf Groep has 55 places and 24 apartments in the capital and nine emergency beds in the region. In December 2021 the number of emergency placings went up 70% compared to the year before. In November and December there was a waiting list for emergency beds of seven to 10 people, Vader said.
Vader said the number of reports had not increased earlier on during the pandemic which she found ‘worrying’.
‘The violence escalated but it was more difficult perhaps to go out and seek help, for instance from a family doctor. It was the calm before the storm. People who have endured domestic violence for a long time have now clearly come to the end of their tether.’
The Blijf Groep has also seen an increase in temporary restraining orders by which a partner is forbidden to come into the home for a couple of days to avoid an escalation of violence. In the last three months some 12 restraining orders a week were issued compared to four or five in a ‘normal’ week’.
The region Amsterdam-Amstelland has been given permission to open another refuge. The Blijf Groep are currently talking to housing cooperations and the real estate department of Amsterdam local council to find a suitable building
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