COVID-19 may have a significant impact on the lives of those affected by domestic abuse, and those affected are urged to consider their safety and know that support remains available.
People being isolated in their own homes with their abuser may result in an increase in coercive and controlling behaviour and emotional abuse.
Tracy Harsley, assistant director for CitySafe said: “We want people to know they are not alone, and to consider what they might do over the coming weeks to stay safe.
“If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. Silent calls can also be made if it is not safe to speak, by dialling 999 and when the operator is on the line, press 55.”
Anyone experiencing domestic abuse is advised to consider –
- Where you would go if you needed to leave the house in an emergency
- Packing a bag ready and leave it at a trusted friend or neighbour’s house
- Having a code word or sign to signal you are in danger and set this up with family and friends to let them know by text, FaceTime or skype. The code will need to alert them to contact the police if you are in danger
- Teaching the code to children who are old enough to understand what you are asking of them and why
- Using the fact that there are no online shopping slots available to go to the shop, and speak to someone.
- If you access information online you may need to delete your browser history, or use private browsing, as a way to hide searches
Charity Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse helpline and it has reported a 25 per cent increase in calls this week, and 150 per cent increase in visits to their website.
If you’re scared of your partner Refuge’s expert Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline team can offer non-judgmental support at a time that’s safe for you: https://t.co/zT0hdkqacd #SafetyInANumber pic.twitter.com/pMIlZeMSKv
— Refuge (@RefugeCharity) March 28, 2020
Support and information is available through a number of local and national organisations:
- Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership: 01482 318759
- Hull Strength to Change: 01482 613403
- Preston Road Women’s Centre: 01482 790310
- Hull Women’s Aid: 01482 446099
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline, Freephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 0808 2000 247
- Women’s Aid live chat service (available Monday to Friday, 10am-12pm)
- SafeLives have a guide for staying safe during COVID-19 for victims and survivors as well as a guide to staying safe online