Coronavirus: Mum of killed girl gives lockdown violence warning

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image captionAt the time of Keziah's death, her mother Nikki said she had been a "child full of happiness"

The mother of a girl killed by her father has urged people to spot signs of domestic violence amid the extra stress of the coronavirus lockdown.

Keziah Flux-Edmonds, six, was drowned by her depressed father Darren in 2016 before he went on to take his own life.

Her mother, Nikki Flux-Edmonds, from East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, said she had not spotted the warning signs.

She said others should look for changes in their neighbours' behaviour during this "exceptionally stressful time".

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionKeziah's father Darren Flux-Edmonds, 44, hanged himself at the family home in East Cowes

The warning comes from 52-year-old Mrs Flux-Edmonds after the NSPCC said isolation could lead to children being at greater risk of neglect and other forms of abuse.

Support groups have also reported an increase in domestic violence since the Covid-19 restrictions started.

Mrs Flux-Edmonds said people could spend time listening for warning signs of children being hurt by their neighbours.

"Is there a mixture of laughter and shouting or just shouting? If they are in the garden are they happy or listless?" she said.

"You know the sounds of family life and general mayhem, but is this different, subtly harsher, too much silence?"

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionSix-year-old Keziah Flux-Edmonds died in hospital after she was discovered unconscious next to her father's body

She added: "I couldn't save Keziah, I didn't know it was coming, didn't know the signs.

"If you recognise a difference in your neighbour's behaviour, especially with their children, call for help.

"This isn't trying to get their children taken away, this is getting help at an exceptionally stressful time.

"If your neighbour showed signs of a heart attack you'd call an ambulance. If a child is suffering, call for help. You are the difference, always."

An inquest into Keziah's death concluded she was unlawfully killed and heard her father had suffered recurrent depression.

For information and support on domestic abuse, contact:

  • Police: 999 press 55 when prompted if you can't speak
  • Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • Welsh Women's Aid Live Fear Free 24-hour helpline: 0808 80 10 800
  • Scotland National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriages 24-hour helpline: 0800 027 1234
  • Northern Ireland Domestic Abuse 24-hour helpline: 0808 802 1414

Online webchats and text services are also available.

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