Lockdown has not been a friend to domestic abuse victims. If you or someone you know is suffering, support is available from a range of specialist organisations and here at NLS.
Being in lockdown has been tough; whilst the restrictions are starting to relax, we are unlikely to return to normal levels of movement and interaction for quite some time to come.
This is a daunting prospect for us all but if you are living in a household where domestic abuse is occurring difficult and challenging can become a living hell.
Many domestic abuse organisations are highlighting the increased demand and need for domestic abuse support whilst we are restricted but also as victims emerge from lockdown, there are ways in which victims can access the help they need.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger calling 999 is the best way to access speedy help. The police are there to help and sufferers of domestic abuse are advised to seek out the safest time to call and provide as much information as possible to the operator.
Call a helpline or use one of their online resources
If it is safe to do so, victims can call or contact one of the specialist helplines; some of which are listed below: –
- The National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day. 0808 2000 247.
- Women’s Aid offers help and support including live chat and email
- The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. 0808 801 0327.
- Galop is a National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse specialist helpline. 0800 999 5428
- Southall Black Sisters offer specialist support, advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse. 0208 571 9595.
- NCDV offer a free, fast emergency injunction to survivors of domestic abuse and violence.
- For details of further helplines, visit the gov.uk website.
Access a safe space
Boots pharmacy is the first major company to offer domestic abuse victims an in-store safe space, from which they can access legal assistance, contact the necessary services and get tailored advice. The scheme can be used by individuals at the shop counter. From here, they will be led to the consultation room and given all the help possible.
Use an app
Getting out of the house for long enough to access a safe space may not always be possible, but modern tech has a solution. The dedicated app Bright Sky is designed specially to provide support and information to domestic abuse victims. Launched in conjunction with the Vodaphone Foundation, it is free to download and easy to use.
Anyone planning to download the app is advised to be careful that their phone is not being monitored. It is also a useful tool for friends and family of those affected by domestic abuse, helping them to reach out in a useful and meaningful way.
Contact National Legal Service
If you require an expert solicitor to assist with your domestic violence case, then you can also contact the National Legal Service. We are open 24/7 with a dedicated phone line for emergencies. Our Solicitors form the legal team of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, and have helped thousands of victims get both the justice and assistance they need.
This work is ongoing in lockdown, helping individuals and families alike to break the cycle of abuse once and for all. The team of experts can assist with tailored guidance and a plan for a happier, healthier way of life.