Resources for those experiencing domestic abuse or worried about a loved one.
***If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police, press 55 if you can not speak- the police will continue to respond to emergency calls***
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to the way we live, with many of us at home for much longer periods than ever before. This is a challenging and worrying time for everyone, particularly for adults and children who do not feel safe at home. The domestic abuse charity Refuge has reported a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help since the Covid-19 lockdown began. Bishop John Sherrington, of the Bishops’ Conference domestic abuse working group highlighted the issue in a statement issued last week:
‘At this time of national emergency, we are being asked to stay at home to save lives, but for those who are experiencing domestic abuse, the home is far from being a place of security, self-fulfilment and health. Too often it is a place of pain, fear, degradation and isolation. There are many for whom the call to stay at home will be dangerous and potentially life-threatening.’
There are no acceptable excuses for domestic abuse. Everyone has a right to live their life free from violence, abuse, intimidation and fear.
Advice from the British Government:
Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen people’s day-to-day lives 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. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services. You are not alone.
The household isolation instruction as a result of COVID-19 does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.
The government supports and funds a several charities who can 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.
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:
- coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
- economic abuse
- online abuse
- verbal abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
How to get help:
Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.
Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
Welsh Women’s Aid Live Fear Free 24-hour helpline: 0808 80 10 800
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.
There are different kinds of abuse that can happen in different contexts. The most prevalent type of domestic abuse occurs in relationships. But the definition of domestic abuse also covers abuse between family members, such as adolescent to parent violence and abuse. You can read our guidance on adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA) .
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.
To find out more visit:
There is a current call for evidence from the Women and Equalities Committee about unequal impact of the coronavirus on those with protected characteristics (The definition of protected characteristics being age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity).
The closing date for written evidence is 30th April. This is the link to call for evidence. ASLI (Association of Sign Language Interpreters) is asking for people to complete to highlight the issues facing the Deaf Community.
Advice from the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission can be found here. A list of charities and organisations offering help and support can be found on pp.4-10 of this document.
Support from Bishops' Conference can be accessed here.
Sussex and Surrey Council resources: