Coronavirus (Covid- 19) Support for victims of domestic abuse

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This publication is available at GOV.UK – Coronavirus – support for victims of domestic abuse

Help and support is available.

Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen people’s day to day life be 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. Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under.

For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you.

Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour.

The government supports and funds a number of charities who are able to 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 more than 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

Where to get help

If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the following services which can help you.

If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.

Call 999

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police – the police will continue to respond to emergency calls

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. They can also be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The website also has a form through which women can book a safe time for a call from the team.

Women’s Aid

Womens Aid has provided additional advice specifically designed for the current coronavirus outbreak, including a live chat service.

Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. It can be contacted on 0808 8010327.

Galop – for members of the LGBT+ community

If you are a member of the LGBT+ community, Galop runs a specialist helpline on 0800 999 5428 or email help@galop.org.uk.

Economic abuse

If you are concerned about how COVID-19 may affect your finances and leave you vulnerable to economic abuse, please see the advice provided by HM Treasury on what support is on offer. The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support.

Hestia

Hestia provides a free-to-download mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Chayn

Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages, ranging from identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.

Support for professionals

SafeLives is providing guidance and support to professionals and those working in the domestic abuse sector, as well as additional advice for those at risk.

Support if you are worried about hurting someone

If you are worried about hurting the ones you love whilst staying at home, call the Respect Phoneline for support and help to manage your behaviour, 0808 8024040.

More information

For more advice and guidance on domestic abuse, please see Domestic abuse: how to get help.

Preston Domestic Violence Services

As an organisation delivering services for victims of domestic violence and abuse in Preston, we know COVID-19 will have serious impacts on the lives of victims and their children.

We want to reassure our service users and people needing our services that we are here for you and we will be doing everything we can to support you during this challenging time.

Whilst we have changed some of our working practices to ensure the safety of our staff, we are committed to providing emotional support, advice and help to anyone who needs it during this time.

We have had to cancel all group sessions and face to face meetings, which will now be held on the phone or virtually.

Changing Futures – Omayya

During these uncertain times we understand that matters can become even more challenging for domestic abuse victims.

We are doing our utmost best to ensure we are still here for you and have our helpline 01772 201601 is running during office working hours (9-5pm) Monday to
Friday.

I am still active with the changing futures role and this service is available to support
those of you who want to work on yourselves, self-confidence, self-esteem and development to prepare for your future.

This support is for anyone who feels they have a barrier (s) holding them back from their life goals.

This includes support from myself on a regular basis to support you through your journey in achieving your goals whether that be working, volunteering, education and building on yourself to increase motivation.

I recognise that there are limitations to usual activities at present and for some of us having our children at home can create further barriers however I am focussed on emotional well-being and looking at personalised support to make this duration more manageable.

Allow this time of quarantine to allow us to build on confidence and well-being to prepare for some positive changes when routine will resume.

To discuss in further details feel free to make contact via our helpline.

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you well during these times.

You can also email me: changingfutures@pdvs.org.uk

Childrens picture saying Preston Domestic Service

Sanctuary Service – Julie

We have seen in the news the rise in domestic abuse as victims are trapped in their homes with their abusers.

The PDVS Sanctuary service is continuing despite the lock-down, as the situation many victims find themselves in is still considered a matter of personal safety, and therefore urgent.

If you live in Preston, no longer are living with the perpetrator, but he is still threatening you, the Sanctuary service can help by making your home more secure.

Maybe you need additional locks or lighting.

We can provide a range of measures which will help you feel safer and more secure.

Please ring our helpline 01772 201601 or email sanctuary@pdvs.org.uk 

A promotion from  Preston Domestic Abuse saying domestic abuse is never acceptable

Outreach Service – Robina

In the middle of the Corona Virus pandemic PDVS Outreach service is reaching out to connect with service users via phone and email to ensure that they are safe and supported.

121 conversations are taking place with individuals on a regular basis in providing advice and emotional support.

Service users particularly appreciate the flexibility of the support as PDVS is aware that is sometimes not safe for them to speak from their confined homes and phone appointments can be cancelled and rearranged.

It is a big deal for service users just to know that someone is there at the other end of the line or email which provides them huge reassurance and relief that they are not alone and have the opportunity to reach out for help and guidance.

If you require support please call our helpline on 01772 201601 or email outreach@pdvs.org.uk 

Government promotion - You are not alone

Hope Service – Kerry

The service is here to offer you a listening ear and to support you with what choices and options you may have.

Accessing support can feel daunting at the moment but please know that we are here to support you providing a free confidential service.

It doesn’t matter if your male or female the only requirements we have are that you are 16 and over who are or have experienced
domestic abuse within the Preston area.

Support we offer can be both emotional and practical supporting you to break the cycle and promote a life free from abuse.

I know this may be difficult time but please know we are here and we can support you accessing further support from PDVS or other external agencies.

We can also support you with accessing refuge, checking availability and making referrals.

The helpline is also a stepping stone is accessing support, the helpline provides advice and support.

If you don’t feel comfortable attending an appointment or would like support with what you are experiencing please call our helpline, 01772 201601, and take that know that you are not alone.

You can also email hope@pdvs.org.uk 

PDVS

As an organisation delivering services for victims of domestic violence and abuse in Preston, we know COVID-19 will have serious impacts on the lives of victims and their children.

We are fully aware that for people experiencing domestic violence and abuse home is not always a place of safety and access to support services will be even more difficult during these times.

We want to be able to continue to support our service users and those needing our services but can only do this with your support.

We welcome any financial donation that will help us continue to deliver services
during this difficult time.

Whilst we have changed some of our working practices to ensure the safety of our staff, we are committed to providing emotional support, advice and help to anyone who needs it during this time.

Donate now and help us to support those who are in very vulnerable situations and desperate for support.

To donate please visit the Preston Domestic Violence Services.

Thank you for your support and stay safe.