With current UK Government guidelines urging us all to stay at home for at least three weeks during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are fully aware that this can have a serious impact on victims of domestic abuse and possibly hinder access to routes providing support and safety; reports of domestic abuse related incidents, and even deaths, are increasing rapidly across the world on a daily basis.
As a Group, we were recently awarded a DAHA accreditation, and are absolutely committed to challenging domestic abuse and supporting those who need it.
We understand that being in social isolation with a perpetrator may intensify the abuse. Measures that have been temporarily put in place across the UK, such as restricted outdoor exercise and remote working, could also leave many victims vulnerable.
Even though the recent Government guidelines state that we should all be staying at home at the moment, it is simply not safe for some people to do so. You will not being punished by the authorities for accessing help during the COVID-19 outbreak
We’d like to assure you that we are still here to support anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse at this uncertain time and we can help to seek advice and a safe space in refuge if needed.
It’s really important that we look after each other more than ever right now and we’re asking our communities to please come together and be extra vigilant around any possible signs of domestic abuse.
If you’re worried about your neighbour, you can report this anonymously and may save a life in the process; we urge you to be aware of anything unusual and let us know by phoning 01282 686300 (Lines are open 8am to 6pm Mon-Fri) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re currently self-isolating with a perpetrator, here is some guidance to help keep you as safe as possible:
- If you feel that you or someone else is in danger please always call 999. If you can’t speak then cough or make a noise then tap 55 on keypad and follow instructions
- Keep your phone charged and with you at all times
- Try to keep a distance from your abuser at home and if safe to do so go for a walk or drive during your allowed outdoor time.
- Make sure you have your (and your children’s) important documents in a safe place
- Avoid rooms in the home where the abuser could access a weapon (kitchen, shed etc) or where they could lock you in
- Identify a safe room. Does the door lock and is there a phone signal or outside window/exit so that you can call for help or get out?
- Plan your escape route(s) and think about where you would go if you needed to leave
- Agree a code word NOW if at all possible with a trusted friend/family member/neighbour to let them know you are safe or to signal that you need them to call for help. Or agree to place an object in plain sight (in window etc.) to signal help is needed
- Show your children how to call 999 and how to ask for help
- Check or update your social media, banking, email and computer privacy and password settings
- Talk to someone about what is happening to you if you are able to access a phone or internet; a friend, family member or professional
- Do not threaten to leave. Get advice about how to leave safely from a professional service
- Agree a contact schedule with someone you trust and agree what they should do if you miss a contact
- Try to minimise alcohol consumption as the probability of abuse increases when alcohol is involved.
In an emergency situation, always call the police (999)
Visit: https://safenet.org.uk/our-services/lancashire-refuges/, tel: 0300 3033581 (7 days per week, 24 hours a day) or e-mail: email@example.com
National Domestic Violence Helpline