News articles - 2020

Coronavirus - domestic abuse

Date: 21 April 2020

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of your gender, age or sexuality.

Please be aware that the current government guidance on staying at home as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.


Abuse can be categorised in lots of ways, including emotional, physical and sexual, with the most common type of domestic abuse occurring in relationships. However, domestic abuse also covers abuse and violence between family members, such as adolescents to parents.


For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, please remember that the following help and support is available to you. You're not alone.



The Police


  • If you're in immediate danger, call 999 and ask to speak to the police.
  • If you're in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 then listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the headset.


Calling 999 from a mobile


If you're in an emergency situation and need police help but can't speak, press 55 when prompted to Make Yourself Heard and let the 999 operator know your call is genuine. The operator will then transfer your call to the police.


Please be aware that pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.


Call 999 from a landline


If only background noise can be heard after calling 999, and the operator cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, you will be connected to a police call handler.


If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected to the call handler for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.


When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handler to help provide a response.



Other organisations who can help


Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge

0808 200 0247


Men's Advice Line

0808 801 0327


Galop (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people)

0800 999 5428


Rape Crisis (England and Wales)

0808 802 9999


Women's Aid

Women's Aid has a live chat service and an online survivor's forum. You can also find your local domestic abuse service on their website.


The Survivor's handbook, created by Women's Aid, provides information on housing, money, helping your children and your legal rights.



Shelter provide free confidential information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues.



Support for children and young people



The NSPCC helpline is available for advice and support for anyone with concerns about a child, and has issued guidance for spotting and reporting the signs of abuse.


Call: 0808 800 5000




Childline provides help and support to children and young people.


Call: 0800 1111



Barnardo's provide support to families affected by domestic abuse.



Support if you think you may be an abuser


If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be an abuser, there is support available.


Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from (ex) partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.


Call: 0808 802 4040



More information on getting help with domestic abuse can be found at GOV.UK.

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