In 2018/2019 576,000 men and 1.2 million women were victims of partner abuse. In the first seven weeks of lockdown, one call relating to domestic abuse was made to the police every 30 seconds. Three quarters of women commented that lockdown made it much more difficult to escape their abusive partners, and two thirds of domestic abuse victims were subjected to more violence from their partners during lockdown.*

The Respect Men’s Advice Line for male victims of abuse reported a 65% increased in calls during the first three months of lockdown. And the UK’s Revenge Porn Helpline reported an estimated 60% increase by the end of 2020. Approximately 750,000 children witness domestic abuse every year.

In fact, the UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic” alongside Covid-19. As a community, we need to be vigilant for signs of abuse of any nature. But this is easier said than done. Where we can start is by being aware and sharing sources of help that are available for anyone experiencing domestic abuse and their friends or loved ones.

If you are experiencing abuse, please know that there are organisations who can help you and people who care about you. Fleeing an abusive partner is allowed at any time, including during lockdown or tiers.

*These statistics were from a joint investigation by BBC Panorama and Women’s Aid

Actions to take

  1. Cover your tracks online. If you can, use a safe device.

Warning: if you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this website please read the safety information here

 

2. Find out where your local Safe Space is.

Safe Spaces increase the opportunity for victims of domestic abuse to access specialist support, providing a space for them to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member.

Their consultation rooms are open and ready for you to use. Inside, you will find will information on how to access specialist domestic abuse services. 

To access a Safe Space all you have to do is go into any Boots UK store, Superdrug Pharmacy, Morrisons Pharmacy, or an independent pharmacy invovled in the scheme, go to the counter and ask to use their Safe Space – you can do this verbally or you can write it on a piece of paper or on your phone and show it to the pharmacist. Only put things in writing if it is safe for you to do so.

The pharmacist will show you to the Safe Space. Once you are inside, all the specialist domestic abuse support information will be available for you to access, and you can make that call safely.

3. Make a Safety Plan

A personal safety plan is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children. It helps you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave. See the straightforward guide from Women’s Aid, here . Only write something down if it is safe for you to do so.

4. Download the Bright Sky App, if it is safe for you to do so.

The Bright Sky App from Hestia is free. It provides support for those experiencing domestic abuse as well as those concerned about friends and family member, it can also be used by specialist and non-specialist practitioners and anyone looking for information and support.

It is available in English, Welsh, Urdu, Punjabi & Polish and includes a UK directory of specialist domestic abuse services with contact details. It also includes questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, and further resources.

Get it on Google Play or from the Itunes store.

Resource list for victims of Domestic Abuse

Image borrowed from www.thamesvalley.police.uk. Dark Blue text on a light blue background reads “key facts about calling 999 and pressing 55”. “1. A silent 999 call alone will not automatically bring help. 2. Pressing 55 will not bring emergency services to your door and does not allow the police to track your location – it informs us you have an emergency. 3. Please listen in and engage with the police call handlers. – they will try in a number of ways to find out what”s happening and where you are , even if you can’t speak . 4. A police response is guaranteed if we can determine who and/or where the caller is. Police call handlers can request subscriber checks and can carry out background checks. 5. If you can say only one thing, please say your location. Domestic abuse will not be tolerated! More info on www.thamesvalley.police.uk”

Call the Police on 101 or 999 if it’s an emergency. If it is too dangerous for you too speak, use the silent solution, press “5 5”

The Silent Solution exists to help people who are unable to speak and need police assistance. You can read more about how it works here.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing and / or speech impaired register with the emergencySMS service. Text REGISTER to 999. You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in dange

 

Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 

Open 24 hours a day to victims and those who are worried about friends/loved ones.

Phone/TypeTalk: 0808 2000 247
Visit their webiste to access further info, the live chat service or contact form to book a safe time for a call.

 

The Men’s Advice Line

A confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. Offering advice and emotional support to men who experience abuse, and signpost to other vital services that help keep them and their children safe.

Phone: 0808 8010327

Telephone & email support: Monday–Friday, 9am-8pm

Webchat: Wednesday – Friday, 10–11am & 3–4pm

 

UK revenge porn helpline

The revenge porn helpline are able to help you to report and remove the content. Whilst they cannot guarantee it will be removed, they do hold a good takedown success rate (so far the published stats are a 94% success rate) and they are very persistent and determined. The helpline is for adults only.

Due to the Coronavirus lockdown, they are currently operating an email only service contact them at [email protected].

Open Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm

 

Wales Live Fear Free Helpline

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for free advice and support or to talk through your options. Get in touch with Live Fear Free advisors free of charge by phone, online chat, text or email.

Telephone: 0808 80 10 800

TypeTalk: 18001 080 8801

Text: 07860077333

Email: [email protected]

Access the Live Chat service here.

 

Galop

is the national LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline. It is free and offers emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse.

Telephone: 0800 999 5428

Email: [email protected]

Opening times: Monday – Tuesday, 10am-5pm / Wednesday – Thursday, 10am – 8pm /Friday, 10am – 5pm. (1pm – 5pm Tuesday is trans specific advice).

Online Chat availble here.

Opening times: Wednesday – Thursday, 5pm – 8pm

 

Women’s Aid

Offer confidential live chat and email from specialist workers and a survivors forum for speaking to others.

Live chat Opening times: Monday to Friday 10:00am – 4:00pm, Saturday-Sunday 10:00am-12:00pm

Email: [email protected] (please not emails cannot be responded to via telephone as safety might be compromised.

 

Karma Nirvana – Open Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Karma Nirvana is a national helpline for victims of honour-based abuse, forced marriage and domestic abuse, and those supporting them

Phone: 0800 5999 247
Email: [email protected]

Or send a secure message through their website

 

Hourglass

A confidential helpline for anyone concerned about abuse of an older person. The Hourglass confidential Helpline provides information and support to anyone concerned about harm, abuse or exploitation of an older person. This might include physical, financial, psychological, sexual abuse or neglect.

It is free to call from a landline or mobile, and the number won’t appear on your phone bill.

Phone: 0808 808 8141

Open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

 

Muslim Women’s Network Helpline

A national specialist faith and culturally sensitive helpline that is confidential and non-judgmental, which offers information, support, guidance and referrals  for those who are suffering from or at risk of abuse or facing problems on a range of issues.

Although their reach is primarily Muslim women, the helpline will accept and support women of any faith or no faith. For example, the culturally sensitive nature of the helpline could easily support Asian women of other faiths. Men who are concerned about women and girls should also call the helpline.  If men and boys need support, for example, at risk of forced marriage, then they should also call the helpline.

Telephone: 0800 999 5786 (free from mobiles and landlines)

Text: 07415 206 936

Email: [email protected]

Click here to access webchat – open Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm.

 

Resource List for Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse

The Respect Phoneline – 0808 8024040

The Respect Phoneline provides help for domestic violence perpetrators. Choose to stop.

Free from landlines, mobile phones & BT pay phones within the UK. Your call will not appear on itemised bills. The service is anonymous and confidential.

Telephone: 0808 8024040

Email: [email protected]

Telephone and email support – open Monday-Friday 9am-8pm

Webchat – open Wednesday-Friday 10-11am & 3-4pm

Click here to be taken to the Respect Phoneline website and find out more

 

Resources for frontline workers who work with perpetrator/s of domestic abuse

The Respect Phoneline also provide support to frontline workers on working with perpetrators of domestic violence safely. This service is confidential. provide you with advice and guidance on working with domestic abuse perpetrators safely.

Telephone: 0808 8024040

Email: [email protected]

Telephone and email support – open Monday-Friday 9am-8pm

Free from landlines, mobile phones & BT pay phones within the UK. Your call will not appear on itemised bills.

For more information click here

 

Drive Webchat

In partnership with Respect, Drive offers free support and guidance for professionals working with perpetrators of domestic abuse. It is available to all professionals – social workers, probation officers, mental health and health care professionals, domestic violence advisors, police officers, and more. They offer a webchat service, email response service and professional community portal for sharing best practice.

You do not need to sign up in advance for the webchat service.

Click here to access the webchat service & learn more about the professional community portal

Opening hours – Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 10am-12pm and 2pm -4pm

Email: [email protected]

If you are in an abusive relationship, are worried about someone who is, or are concerned about your own behaviour then please reach out