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Abuse victims urged to ‘cry out’ and get help they need

PUBLISHED: 11:39 19 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:13 19 April 2020

Kerri McAuley was killed by her boyfriend, a serial domestic abuser, in January 2017 at her Norwich home. Photo: McAuley Family

Kerri McAuley was killed by her boyfriend, a serial domestic abuser, in January 2017 at her Norwich home. Photo: McAuley Family

McAuley Family

The mother of a woman brutally murdered by her abusive ex-partner in her Norwich home has called on victims to “cry out” and get the help they need during the coronavirus lockdown.

Friends and family of Kerri McAuley help launch the 'Kerri's Campaign' to raise £10K for Leeway.
Kerri's mum Lesley with the campaign top.
Picture: Nick ButcherFriends and family of Kerri McAuley help launch the 'Kerri's Campaign' to raise £10K for Leeway. Kerri's mum Lesley with the campaign top. Picture: Nick Butcher

A nationwide lockdown was recently extended by another three weeks by the government as the fight against the spread of Covid-19 continues.

This might cause alarm for victims of domestic abuse who might find themselves trapped at home with a violent partner but they have been urged to seek help urgently by Lesley McAuley whose 32-year-old daughter was murdered in January 2017.

The mother of two suffered 19 injuries to her head and face following an attack by Joe Storey who then left her to die alone.

Today her mother Lesley called on anyone who feels threatened by a partner to “just cry out” and get the help they need - and that is out there.

Kerri McAuley alongside her mother Lesley. Picture: courtesy of McAuley family Kerri McAuley alongside her mother Lesley. Picture: courtesy of McAuley family

She said: “It must be horrific for all these victims now. It’s so scary. As soon as the lockdown came I said to my partner “whatever are those victims going to do?

“But there’s so much help out there. I just want to put it out there to all victims that there is help out there, they can get away, they can be helped and they can get safe.”

She added: “I have all these victims in my head and in my heart.

“I just hope they don’t give up because that’s when they will lose their lives, when they give up.

Family of Kerri McAuley speak out after killer Joe Storey jailed for life. Photo: MustardFamily of Kerri McAuley speak out after killer Joe Storey jailed for life. Photo: Mustard

“There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about all these victims but there’s lots of different ways people can help and get them to safety.”

Lesley’s message comes as Norfolk Police have moved to reassure victims and survivors of domestic abuse that they do not need to suffer in silence during this challenging time.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Andy Coller, recognised that a home can be “more like a prison for those living or sharing with an abuser”. He said: “We realise that the challenges we currently face mean those who are vulnerable, such as victims of domestic abuse, whether children or adults, are more likely to be at risk during self-isolation. Norfolk Constabulary wants to reassure those who are victims, that you should not suffer in silence and alone, we are here to help you.”

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He added: “Our message to abusers is that your behaviour will not be excused.”

Help is out there - that is the message for victims of domestic abuse even in these unprecedented times.

In an emergency people should always call 999 or 101 to report a crime otherwise help can be found from organisatons, including:

• Leeway: 0300 561 0077 or log onto www.leewaysupport.org/

• Spurgeons 01603 628122 or log onto www.spurgeons.org/norwichconnect/

• Orwell (Haven Project): 0845 4674876/01508 533933 or log onto www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/residents/south-norfolk-help-hub

• Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care: 0300 303 3706 or log onto www.nsvictimcare.org/

• Sexual Assault Referral Centre 01603 276381 (24/7) or log onto www.theharbourcentre.co.uk/

• Daisy Programme: 01953880903

• Pandora log onto www.pandoraproject.org.uk/

• Sue Lambert Trust: 01603 622406 or log onto www.suelamberttrust.org/


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