Domestic abuse has risen sharply since the lockdown began with the National Domestic Abuse Helpline receiving 25% more calls compared with the same time last year. It is important to remember that you are not alone and there is extensive support for victims and and those who think they may be exhibiting signs of perpetrating domestic abuse themselves.
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline defines domestic violence as: ‘Domestic violence is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a partner. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused.’
It is a difficult time for everyone, and if you think you may need help as a victim or a perpetrator of domestic abuse, there are some details below of helplines and website that you can use to get the support you need.
If you and/or your family are in imminent danger, call the Police. If it is too dangerous to talk, dial 999 and then when the call connects to the call handler, dial 55. This will tell them that you can’t talk and it will automatically transfer the call to the Police. If possible, try to communicate your location to the call handler as they are not able to track your location using your phone. The police will be dispatched to the location you give.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is a national service that allows you to seek help if you are still living with an abusive partner, are planning to leave an abusive partner or have already left them. They offer an online help system that you can use as an alternative to calling. There is also a ‘quick exit’ button that closes the site immediately.
You can call the helpline on 0808 200 0247 or you can visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
Men’s Advice Line
In addition to calling the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, men who suffer from domestic abuse from a partner or loved one can contact the Men’s Advice Line for support. They offer emotional support and practical help and advice. They have a web chat service, a helpline and an email contact. They also have an ‘exit site now’ button to be able to leave the page quickly should it be needed.
You can call the helpline on 0808 801 0327 or visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk.
Rape Crisis is a national organisation that offers emotional support and advice for women and girls who have suffered sexual violence. They offer a web chat service as well and a helpline and you can also use their website to search for a local rape crisis centre in your area.
You can call the helpline 0808 802 9999 or visit www.rapecrisis.org.uk.
Respect Phoneline offers support for people who are perpetrators of domestic abuse and want help and support to change. If you recognise yourself as controlling, or your partner seems afraid of you or you have hit them in the past, this advice line can help. They offer a web chat services as well and an email and phone line.
You can call the helpline on 0808 802 4040 or visit www.respectphoneline.org.uk.
Galop – Domestic Abuse Helpline for the LGBTQ+ Community
If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there is a dedicated charity to help support victims of domestic abuse. They offer services by phone, email, text message and Whatsapp and can be contacted online through their website. They have an ‘exit site’ button to close the site quickly.
You can call the helpline on 0800 999 5428 or visit www.galop.org.uk.
Ashiana support women and girls from black, minority ethnic and refugee backgrounds. The offer particular support those from South Asia, Turkey and Iran who are experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence & harmful practices. They specialise in culturally sensitive advice, support and safe housing to help enable you to make positive and appropriate choices. They provide counselling to women and girls who are experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence and harmful practices.
You can call the helpline on 0208 539 0427 or visit www.ashiana.org.uk.
Women’s Aid is a national charity that works to eradicate all violence towards women and children and they offer a variety of services to help support those affected by domestic abuse. They are available by web chat and email and have a whole host of useful guidance on their website, including a forum for survivors of domestic abuse. The site has an ‘exit site’ button to remove the site from your screen quickly.
You can contact them through their website at www.womensaid.org.uk/.