Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence – you are not alone

Not every home is a place of safety. It is important that during this period those who are victims and survivors of all forms of Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence do not feel that they are alone. Abuse takes many forms, including psychological abuse known as coercive control, economic abuse, physical and sexual violence and other forms such as female genital mutilation, honour based violence and sexual exploitation.

 

General

  • If you think that you and / or your children are in immediate danger, call the police.  The police are still responding to emergency calls. If you need silent help, ring 999 followed by 55.
  • The National Live Fear Free Helpline is here to support you, call 0808 80 10 800. You can also speak to someone at any time of the day via their live chat service. They can support you in Welsh, English and any other languages using LanguageLine, or via their Type Talk text service on 1800108088010800.
  • Emergency SMS provides a text message service for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people in the UK to send SMS messages to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the Police.
  • Victims of domestic abuse are allowed to leave their home to escape their abuser and/or to ask for help during the lockdown, and that refugees will remain open.

 

Perpetrators

  • Being asked to stay at home, out of your usual routine is isolating and stressful. If you are perpetrating Domestic Abuse or worried about your behaviour, you can get help from Respect UK.

 

Victims/Survivors- Keeping safe tips

  • During this uncertain time, there are some things you can do to help keep safe.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family, but be aware of your own safety and that others may be listening.
  • Keep a bag packed with a phone charger. Make sure exits are clear, plan your escape route and keep spare keys safe.
  • Speak to a trusted neighbour(s) and agree on an emergency signal, such as switching the lights on/off or opening a particular window if you feel at risk.
  • When you are at home, keep your mobile phone charged, topped up with credit and helpline numbers saved. Be aware of rooms with weapons or hazards. Avoid alcohol.
  • If your workplace has been a place of safety from the abuse you are experiencing at home, speak to your employer about ways of keeping in touch so that your work still provides some form of safety net.

 

Health and Wellbeing

  • Your health and wellbeing may change in this period. Distancing and isolation can, among other things, trigger anxiety and flashbacks.
  • If you usually see a therapist, contact them to see if they still able to offer you sessions over the telephone or through video-based appointments.
  • Take regular breaks from social media and mute hashtags or phrases which could be frightening or triggering.
  • Beat UK has help and support for concerns about eating: BEAT UK
  • Children experience domestic abuse too; keep talking to them about who they are contacting online, and seek help if you have concerns about their own mental and –physical wellbeing: MIND
  • Court contact arrangements should be adhered to but could be used to control you. Rights of Women provide further advice.

 

Support for Community

  • Don’t be a bystander. If you are worried about someone who you think is the victim of domestic abuse, always encourage them to ring 999 in an emergency. Make sure you do not put yourself in a dangerous situation and do not approach a perpetrator about their behaviour.
  • Remember Domestic Abuse is experienced by people of all ages. Older people, those with existing health problems, and others in the most vulnerable ‘shielding’ group may not have access to online support. Look out for all members of your community.
 

Additional resources

  • Welsh Women's Aid - support and information for women suffering from domestic abuse
  • Safelives - help and support for women suffering from domestic violence          
  • Women Connect First - help and support with a  focus on empowering BAME women                                        
  • Calan DVS - help and support for individuals or families suffering from domestic violence
  • Cyfannol Womens Aid -  help and support for women suffering from domestic violence
  • Childline - help and support for young people and children                    
  • Action for Children -  advice and support to young people experiencing domestic abuse             
  • ManKind - advice and support to men suffering from mental health
  • Refuge UK -  help and support for women, men and children suffering from domestic violence
  • Men’s Advice Line - advice and support to men suffering from domestic abuse