When Home is not a Safe Place: Domestic Abuse & the Support available
In the UK, lockdown restrictions have drastically changed daily life for everyone. During this challenging time, the most important message we are receiving is to Stay Home, Be Safe and Save Lives.
But what if home is not a safe place?
We are all spending an increased amount of time at home, which brings with it additional caring responsibilities for children or older relatives, increased financial pressure and heightened worries in general. Many people reported feeling more stressed during the first lockdown and this may well be the case this time round as well. Added pressure like this and increased tensions within the home, could lead to changes in mood and behaviours.
This can accelerate the risk of abuse.
For those already living in an abusive household, lockdown or isolation can make pre-existing abusive behaviours worse and it potentially narrows the window of opportunity for to seek help and support.
You Are Not Alone!
- The Police will respond if you call them. Even with the restrictions, they can still come to your home, they can support you to leave or remove the abuser if necessary.
- If you feel you are in immediate danger dial 999. Ensure you know the Silent Solution System –> On a mobile, let the operator know you are there by making some sound, even if just heavy breathing or tapping the phone. You will then be prompted to dial 55 which will put you straight through as an emergency to the Police.
- If you are deaf or can’t verbally communicate, register with the Emergency SMS service. Text REGISTER to 999. You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in danger.
- The National Domestic Abuse Helpline continues to operate. You can call them by telephone and TypeTalk on 0808 2000 247. It is free and open 24 hours. You can also contact them online at National Domestic Abuse Helpline.
- Bright Sky – is a website & app, that provide support and information about domestic abuse including contact details of local services (including BWP!).
Download the app if you are at risk of domestic abuse or if you are supporting someone at risk: Hestia’s Bright Sky App
Or access via the website at: www.bright-sky.org.uk
- Find out about your housing rights. Contact Shelter for free, confidential housing advice.
- Contact Turn2Us if you are concerned about your financial situation and would like to know more about benefits you could be entitled to.
- Get in touch with your Local Authority for support and advice. They will still be working throughout the pandemic and continuing to offer a duty service.
- Access healthcare if you need to.
- Have a safety or emergency plan. Have a bag packed, know where your house and car keys are. Keep your mobile phone charged and within reach at all times. Ensure any money, cards and identification are in a safe place.
- Debt support from our partners, PayPlan.
Who can I contact if I need support?
Broxtowe Women’s Project are here to support local women in need of help
📱 Text / Call : 07914 634 190 / 01773 719111
💻 Email : email@example.com
- Women’s Aid have created a directory containing details of the UK’s local, regional and national services specialising in violence against women and girls including domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage and stalking/harassment.The directory is powered by Routes to Support, which has provided detailed information about services since 2003. This means it is constantly updated by the services listed and contains a comprehensive listing of services throughout the UK. Find this below.
- Deaf Hope provides support to deaf women experiencing domestic abuse.
- Phone the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
- Phone the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact the Muslim Women’s Network on 0800 999 5786 or email: email@example.com.
- Safe Lives have a newsletter to inspire and support people experiencing domestic abuse.
- Many Pharmacies are providing safe spaces for people at risk of domestic abuse – including Boots, Superdrug, Morrison’s and independents. Ask at the pharmacy counter to use a safe space room where you will find information about who to contact for domestic abuse support.
What can I do if I am worried about someone at risk of domestic abuse?
- Check the person is safe if you can and are able to (in a safe way). If you feel they are in immediate danger dial 999.
- Encourage them to contact one of the services above.
- Advise them to phone 999 in an emergency and use the 55 code if necessary.
- Reassure them that there is support available. They will be listened to if they are concerned about their safety and wellbeing.
- Inform them they can use private browsing to hide their internet search history.
- Do not approach or speak to the abuser about their behaviour. This could escalate the abuse and put you and the victim at risk of harm.
- The Ann Craft Trust has a list of helplines available
- To get further advice about what to do in a particular situation, call Broxtowe Women’s Project or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline. We can provide expert, confidential advice on how best to support the person you are worried about.