During the period when we’re having to stay at home and to spend a lot of time with our own household members, we realise this can cause you extra challenges if you live with domestic abuse. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances. CHS will not tolerate it, and will support you, as will lots of other organisations.
If you are already affected by domestic abuse, or feel more at risk of abuse, there is help and support available to you. You can still contact helplines, online support, refuges and the police. The government’s instruction to stay at home as a result of COVID-19 does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.
If you are in danger, call 999 – and press 55 on a mobile if you are not able to talk – this will take you straight to the police who will be careful to find out safely what you need.
The abuse you go through may not be physical violence – it might be financial control, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse. Does your partner :
- Stop you keeping in touch with family and friends, even while you can’t visit them?
- Control your money, or not give you enough to buy essentials?
- Blame you for abuse or arguments?
- Threaten you?
- Push or shove you, or worse?
- Read your emails, texts or letters?
- Destroy things that belong to you?
There are many other signs that you may be in abusive relationship. Anyone can be subjected to domestic abuse, and should not feel afraid to report it; you are not alone, and there is help available.
While everyone is spending a lot more time at home, you may be worried about what you hear from your neighbours’ homes. If you are worried that a neighbour may be suffering domestic abuse, you may be able to help them report it to the police, or listen to them while they decide what they want to do, without pushing them if they aren’t ready yet. You can also call the national helpline (0808 2000247) for advice on how support them. If you think they are in immediate danger, call 999. Or call CHS and tell us why you are concerned, we will help.
If you are worried that you or someone you know may be an abuser, you can also seek help. Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline (0808 8024040) for men and women who are harming their partners and families.
For more advice and to find out how to seek help, go to
National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000247
https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/ (with a link to Live Chat Monday to Friday 10 -12 pm)