We know this is a complicated and stressful time for all – but particularly for abused adults and children, and the people who are working hard to help them.
The government agrees that recent steps introduced to counter coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the order to stay at home, may cause distress for those at risk of domestic violence or witness it. In any case, domestic violence is intolerable, no matter what stress you are under.
Shocking figures reported that domestic violence has escalated since the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown, as home secretary Priti Patel maintained that assistance was available to all victims of abuse.
Patel said: “Coronavirus has opened Britain’s enormous heart and shown our love and compassion for one another as we come together to help those most in need. I am now asking this nation to use that amazing compassion and community spirit to embrace those trapped in the horrific cycle of abuse.”
The UK’s largest charity for domestic violence, Refuge, recorded a 700 percent rise in calls to its helpline in a single day, while a separate helpline for domestic abuse offenders seeking assistance to improve their actions was receiving 25 percent more calls since the Covid-19 lockdown began.
Therefore, initiatives such as the #YouAreNotAlone campaign was launched by the Home Secretary which allows the public to express support with the victims.
How to stay safe
If you are experiencing or know someone who is affected, here are some steps in order to stay safe.
- Try to keep your mobile phone on you at all times
- Family, friends and neighbours are here to support you.
- If you are in urgent danger, dial 999 and ask the police to respond to emergency calls.
- If you’re in trouble and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999 and click 55 afterwards. This will pass the call to the police department in question who will assist you without you needing to talk.
- Emergency text service: If you can’t call because you are deaf or can’t verbally communicate, you can register with the police text 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. Click here to find out more.
- Reporting a crime: If you need to report a crime but you are not in immediate danger, you can call the police on 101 or report online. The police have a duty to protect you and your children. You should not be discriminated against for any reason, including your immigration status.
Help and support is available
Support services can help you think through your safety options and provide emotional support. You can access support by calling a national helpline or accessing support online. There are a number of charities that are here to help such as WomensAid, Mind.org and Refuge.