COVID-19 - Domestic Abuse
If you feel in danger or someone in your family is in danger you should call 999. You can ring 999 even if you have no credit or reception. When they answer the call If you cannot speak out loud you can press 55. They will know you need help. Try not to hang up they will be able to listen to what is happening.
Domestic abuse is complicated and it can take a while to realise that you are in an abusive relationship. You can find out more about what domestic abuse is *here*.
Domestic abuse affects everyone in the home from unborn babies to teenagers as well as grown ups. Being around abusive relationships puts the whole family at risk of physical and emotional harm that can last a life time. Read more *here*. The whole family will benefit and life can get better when they get the support they need.
Organisations experienced in working with both victims and abusers are still there to support you and your family during the coronavirus outbreak. See the links below for more details of how to get in touch.
The national charity SafeLives have put together some information and resources for people living with domestic abuse *here*.
If you are making plans to leave an abusive partner this can be a time when you are more at risk from harm. Look at the websites below and make contact with the services for advice on how to keep safe.
If you are still living with, or feel at risk, from an abusive partner then making a plan about how you can be as safe during an attack as possible is a good idea.
If you feel at risk from a partner or ex-partner you can reduce the risk to you and your family by making a safety plan. It is a chance to take some control of how you can stay safe in the coming weeks. Read more about this from SafeLives *here*.
Talk to a friend or family member you trust if you can. Tell them what is happening. This can mean more support for you emotionally and practically.
- Leave a packed bag at their house with a change of clothes and important documents (or copies) like passports, birth certificates and banking details.
- Have a code word or a sign (like a book or toy in the window) that lets them know you need help.
- Tell your children they are a safe person to go to – if you do not think it puts them at more risk.
When you see the signs that your partner is likely to be abusive remove yourself and / or children from the situation if you can. Choose a room in the house where you and /or your children can be safer when you feel at risk. Your children may be at more risk if they are in the same room as you – decide what is best for your situation. It is good if your safer place has a lock – this might be the bathroom. It is best to avoid kitchens as they have a lot of possible ‘weapons’ like knives in them.
- Take a phone with you if you can so you can get help. (can you hide a phone in your safe place if you do not have easy access to a phone? )
- Think about how you can get out of the house safely if you have to in a hurry.
Talk to your children about what is happening. Even if you do not think they are old enough to know, or you do not think they have seen or heard any abuse they usually do know. It is important they know it is not their fault, or yours, and it is not ok.
Make sure your children know that they should not try and help if you are being attacked. Their job is to keep themselves safe. Talk to them about how to get help if they can. There is advice for older children and young people *here*.
You should call 999 if you or someone else is in danger. You can ring 999 even if you have no credit or reception. If you cannot speak dial 55 when they answer and services will know you need help. Try not to hang up so they are able to listen to what is happening.
Even during the current rules about staying home you and your family can leave your home at any time you feel unsafe.
Economic abuse is where an abuser takes control of your money and access to the things you need. Self isolation may make this more difficult for you.
There is more information on this *here*.
Some ex-partners may use the coronavirus outbreak as a way to control and manipulate you through the arrangements for access to their children. Rights of Women have some advice and support if this is affecting you *here*.
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590 for confidential advice and support from one of our team. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.