Are you worried about someone? We know that 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. Home is supposed to be the safest place for us all right now, but if you are experiencing domestic abuse then the advice to stay at home could be frightening. This isolation period, in most cases, will mean that victims have little to no respite from their abuser. If you know someone whose family or partner is threatening them, controlling their behaviour or being violent, this is domestic abuse. If you have concerns that someone you know is suffering domestic abuse, please know that we can help. There are many types of domestic abuse. They include:
Making threats towards someone or people they care about
Controlling someone’s money or stopping access to it
Controlling where someone goes and when, and who they talk to
Honour based abuse
Right now, perpetrators of domestic abuse may be taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation by:
Trying to stop someone leaving the house for fresh air, medications or essential items (please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the current government advice on staying safe and who needs to isolate)
Trying to stop someone having contact with friends or family via phone, text or video messaging – all of which are safe to do.
None of this behaviour is okay. Now, more than ever, we’re being asked to look after one another and to especially take care of those vulnerable members of our community who may need more help and support during this time. If you suspect a friend or family member is being abused, please encourage them to get in contact. If they are in immediate danger, they should dial 999. If they cannot speak for fear of being overheard, they can press ‘55’ and our operators will listen, make an assessment of the situation based on what they can hear and send the appropriate response. If your friend or family member is not comfortable speaking to the police, or if you want to seek some further advice about how you can help, there are many charities who offer advice and support. These include:
Women’s Aid, who hold a web chat between 10am and noon Monday to Friday
24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247
Mankind Initiative – for male victims of domestic abuse, their helpline 01823 334 244 is available Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm
Galop – LGBT+ anti-violence charity who can be contacted Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm on 0800 999 5428. You can also make referrals online.
Karma Nirvana – support line available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm on 0800 599 9247.
We have a dedicated domestic abuse section on our Covid-19 webpage, which we keep regularly updated with resources from the government and charities as they become available. You can access this information here: https://www.southyorks.police.uk/find-out/how-you-can-help/covid-19-information-and-guidance/ We also have a domestic abuse webpage with more information and contact details for support organisations across South Yorkshire: https://www.southyorks.police.uk/find-out/advice-for-victims/domestic-abuse/ They are not alone, and thank you for your help to support others.