We understand that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can potentially have a serious impact on the lives of women, men and children who are living in a domestically abusive household. Although many local support agencies are currently suspending their services there is help available should you need it.
Advice from Woman’s Aid
• Your mobile phone
Try and keep a mobile phone with you at all times if possible. The police are a key service when in immediate danger. Do not be afraid to call 999 in an emergency.
• Silent Solution System
Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution system. This is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger and escalation of harm if they are overheard when calling 999 in an emergency.
If you call 999; an operator will ask which emergency service you require. If you are unable to talk to the operator, they will forward your call to an operating system. If you press the numbers 55, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer your call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
• Help and support
National helplines, email, text and live chat support services, and local specialist services are currently open for business as usual. However, please be aware that delivery of their services is likely to have to adapt over the coming weeks.
Women’s Aid continues to provide these services
• The Survivors’ Forum is an online resource for survivors of domestic abuse. The Survivors’ forum can be accessed 24/7. This is a place where survivors can support each other and share their experiences.
• Women’s Aid Live Chat is currently available Monday to Friday 10-12 pm. This could be a safer way to access some support; particularly if an abuser is in the property so it would be unsafe to make a telephone call.
• Women’s Aid Email Service is still operating and can also provide support.
The Women’s Aid website also says that it would always encourage a survivor to be as safe as possible when accessing any form of support. And, that it’s really important to familiarise yourself with information and guidance that will help to keep you as safe as possible when using online platforms.
Report domestic abuse
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or know someone who is, you can report it to Avon & Somerset Police. Call the police on 101 or contact them online if it’s the safest way to get in touch.
We are here to help
If you need support accessing the above services, or if you have any further concerns we can help. Please contact your Housing Officer, on 0117 942 4600. They will understand your situation and refer you to our Tenancy Impact Team.