Try and keep a mobile phone with you at all times.
If you need support:
Help and support
Some local support services in the community may be temporarily suspended because of Coronavirus. This will mean that some survivors will feel particularly isolated. If you were accessing counselling that has now been suspended, some counselling services can continue to provide support. Supportline provide a confidential telephone helpline and email counselling service. Particularly to those at risk of abuse or are isolated.
Women’s Aid is continuing to provide the following services:
For details of other organisations that can give you help gov.uk/report-domestic-abuse
Thinking of leaving?
Leaving might feel particularly difficult at the moment and you might be worried about having to leave your home in an emergency. If possible, pack an emergency bag for you and your children and keep it somewhere safe. Try to include essential things such as medication, identification, money or cards.
Due to the government’s self- isolation and social distancing rules, staying with family and friends might not be an option. You might be finding it harder to secure somewhere safe to stay. We can give you information about your housing rights.
Shelter provide free confidential housing information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order can remove a perpetrator from your home and stop them from making contact with you for up to 28 days. An Occupation Order is an injunction that removes an abusers’ rights to stay in the family home. Find out more information on Protection and Occupation orders from Rights of Women.
Familiarise yourself with The Silent Solution system. This is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger and escalation of harm if they are overheard when calling 999 in an emergency.
When somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If the caller is unable to audibly signal to the operator, the call will be forwarded to an operating system. If 55 is pressed by the caller, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
Read about what to do if you need urgent police help, but can’t speak.
Child contact arrangements are of particular concern to many survivors at the moment. Perpetrators have always used child contact arrangements as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour, and are likely to use Coronavirus as a way to threaten not following their contact arrangements.
Survivors are also concerned that they will be accused of breaching a court order by not allowing contact. If a survivor has concerns around the family court, take a look at the CAFCASS website for guidance.
If you are concerned about your financial situation, contact Turn2us. They help people to access money through welfare benefits and grants. Their website has an income-related benefits checker enabling you to check that you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to.
Surviving Economic Abuse can provide information and resources for women experiencing financial abuse from a partner.
Your abuser might be using your immigration status against you. If you need some guidance you could contact the Immigration Advice service offer expert legal advice on all aspects of immigration, asylum and nationality issues.
The NHS has also confirmed that you won’t be charged for the diagnosis or treatment of coronavirus. This applies to everyone living in the UK, regardless of your immigration status.
Southall Black Sisters offer specialist support, advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse, and Opoka provides a national helpline for Polish women living in the UK.
Deaf Hope provides practical and emotional support to deaf women experiencing domestic abuse.
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.
Worried about a friend, family member or neighbour?
You might be particularly concerned about a family member or a friend at the moment if they will be at home with their abuser. Always encourage them to call 999 in an emergency.
Encourage them to reach out for online support such as Women’s Aid’s Survivors’ Forum, live chat or email.
Do not approach the perpetrator about their behaviour, this could escalate the abuse and put them in further danger. It is also important that you do not put yourself in a dangerous situation.