COVID-19 Support for Victims of Domestic Abuse

Over recent weeks the Government has announced measures to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) and these have seen people’s day-to-day life be drastically altered. These changes are essential to beat coronavirus and protect our NHS.

The government acknowledges that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under. For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you. Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour. The government supports and funds a number of charities who are able to provide advice and guidance and we are in regular contact with the charity sector and the police to ensure that these support services remain open during this challenging time.

Below I have included some links to the organisations who provide support to those affected by domestic abuse: 

  • Call 999 If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls. If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline. The National Domestic Abuse Helpline website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. They can also be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The website also has a form through which women can book a safe time for a call from the team.

  • Women’s Aid. Women’s Aid has provided additional advice specifically designed for the current coronavirus outbreak, including a live chat service.

  • Men’s Advice Line. The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. It can be contacted on 0808 801 0327.

  • Galop - for members of the LGBT+ community. If you are a member of the LGBT+ community, Galop runs a specialist helpline on 0800 999 5428 or email help@galop.org.uk.

  • Economic abuse. If you are concerned about how coronavirus may affect your finances and leave you vulnerable to economic abuse, please see the advice provided by HM Treasury on what support is on offer. The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support.

  • Hestia. Hestia provides a free-to-download mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

  • Chayn. Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages, ranging from identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.

  • Imkaan are a women’s organisation addressing violence against black and minority women and girls.

  • Southall Black Sisters offer advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.

  • Stay Safe East provides advocacy and support services to disabled victims and survivors of abuse.

  • SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).
    elephone: 020 3947 2601
    Email: da@signhealth.org.uk

  • Economic abuse. If you are concerned about how coronavirus may affect your finances and leave you vulnerable to economic abuse, please see the advice provided by HM Treasury on what support is on offer.
    The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support.

  • Support for professionals. SafeLives is providing guidance and support to professionals and those working in the domestic abuse sector, as well as additional advice for those at risk. 

  • Support if you are worried about hurting someone. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be an abuser, there is support available. Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from (ex)partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.
    Telephone: 0808 802 4040
     
  • Support for children and young people.The NSPCC helpline is available for advice and support for anyone with concerns about a child. The NSPCC has issued guidance for spotting and reporting the signs of abuse.
    Telephone: 0808 800 5000
    Email: help@nspcc.org.uk
     
  • Childline provides help and support to children and young people.
    Telephone: 0800 1111
     
  • Barnardo’s provide support to families affected by domestic abuse.
     
  • Family Lives provide support through online forums.
     
  • Information on child contact arrangements. Rights of Women provide guidance about child contact arrangements relating to COVID-19.
     
  • Welfare benefits. Department for Work and Pensions have published up-to-date COVID-19 related welfare benefits information.
     
  • For more advice and guidance on domestic abuse, please see Domestic abuse: how to get help.