A BBC host has received a wave of praise after presenting the news with a subtle message for victims of domestic violence written in pen on her hand.

Eagle-eyed viewers were quick to notice that British journalist Victoria Derbyshire had the number for the UK's national domestic violence helpline clearly printed on her left hand during her broadcast on Monday.

There have been widespread concerns around the world of a spike in violence amid the lockdown enforced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

BBC host Victoria Derbyshire had a secret message for viewers during a broadcast this week. Photo / BBC News
BBC host Victoria Derbyshire had a secret message for viewers during a broadcast this week. Photo / BBC News

In a statement to CNN, Derbyshire explained that she had written the number on her hand to tweet a photo of it before the BBC broadcast.

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"I left it on my skin in case it could help any of the millions watching after 9am on BBC1," she said, adding the numbers of women killed every week by a partner or an ex were "shocking enough" even before coronavirus.

"Now some will be trapped with a violent perpetrator in self-isolation or partial lockdown and it's even more vital to get the helpline number out there."

Last month, NZ police said they expected the level of domestic violence to increase during the enforced lockdown, with more people at home and extra pressure on couples and families.

Family violence services will not be limited to those in need during the lockdown - and advocates are imploring people and employers to look out for those who might be at risk.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police would increase their response to family harm and staff would also do more around prevention.

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"And also there are other agencies that we really want to keep as essential services so that they can support people who were in the middle of that," he said.

Shine, Women's Refuge and other services that deal with victims of family harm and sexual violence have been categorised as essential services and will continue to operate at full capacity during the lockdown.

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If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

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