Domestic Abuse: Do you have concerns for yourself or someone else?
Superintendent Paul McCurry has this message for victims of domestic abuse:
“We know this is a time of worry for all of us but this may be heightened for those who have suffered or are suffering domestic abuse in any of its forms. The isolation period, in most cases, will mean that you have little to no respite from your abuser and you may be concerned that your reporting mechanisms are now limited. I want to offer you some reassurance.
“I'm writing this to let you know we are here for you and will remain here for you throughout. We have the resources to support you and we will take your report seriously.
“One of your concerns may be the ways in which you will contact us should something occur. 999 is available for all emergencies and I want to remind you of our silent solutions. If you ring 999 and are not in a safe position to speak just press '55'. This will notify the operator to transfer your call to the relevant police force. Our staff will listen, and make an assessment of your situation based on what they can hear in the background, so we can get the right response to you.
“If you are concerned and would prefer not to speak to the police, you could use one of the many charities offering support, these include Womens Aid who hold a web chat between 10am and noon (Monday to Friday); the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, Mankind or Galop (specialising in LGBT+ who have a phone line available between 10 to 5pm) or Karma Nirvana who have support lines available between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 0800 599 9247."
You can read Supt McCurry's full message here.
UK Charity SafeLives has recorded a podcast with Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe, national police lead for domestic abuse, from West Midlands Police. She discusses how police are supporting victims of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Listen to the podcast here. Please be aware that DCC Rolfe discusses reporting domestic abuse online. You can report domestic abuse online here via our dedicated portal.
Domestic abuse charity Hestia and the Vodafone Foundation have created a free mobile app called Bright Sky to provide information and support to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship, or those concerned about someone they know. It's available in four languages and has a UK-wide directory of domestic abuse support agencies with contact details.
Find out more about the app here or search 'Bright Sky' on your device app store.
The Government has published some guidance for victims of domestic abuse. Read it here. You can access translated guidance and an easy read version here.
NPCC news article: 'Domestic abuse victims urged to keep seeking help during Coronavirus outbreak'
Women's Aid has developed some support resources for survivors of domestic abuse, as well as a guide for friends, families, neighbours and community members. The resources have been developed in partnership with a range of support organisations.
Access the resources here.
Registered charity SayiT, who provide support for LGBT+ young people, has produced a factsheet to help individuals who may have concerns about LGBT+ domestic violence and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have lots of useful information on their website and are operating online to continue to provide support during the pandemic.
Access the factsheets here.
Ashiana Sheffield is a specialist charity providing support to BAMER women and children who may be experiencing domestic abuse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they want to remind BAMER communities that help is available. They have leaflets available in a number of languages on their website here.
Click on the link below to visit our dedicated Domestic Abuse web page, for details of local support agencies who can help.
Domestic Abuse web page
Click to download our Covid-19 Domestic Abuse leaflet, with details of support agencies who can help you during the pandemic.
New helpline launched for BAME children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
Charity Barnardo's has launched a new telephone helpline and web-chat service for children and families in BAME communities, who have been affected by the pandemic.
If you're from the BAME community and you're worried about COVID, you're worried about school, if you've lost a loved one, or if you simply want someone to talk to, the free helpline is available Monday to Friday between 1pm and 8pm on 0800 1512 605. Find out more about the helpline on the Barnardo's website here.