The current lockdown that the UK is experiencing due to the coronavirus has led to heightened concerns around domestic abuse, with huge increases in calls and requests for help. As a result of social distancing measures, many victims have become trapped inside their homes, isolated from friends and family and feeling less able to get the help and support they need.
If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse, Local Solutions’ Worst Kept Secret team can provide support by phone, email, text and online chat. The team have been working to support people affected by domestic abuse for many years and will offer practical and emotional support. Here are some of the first steps that you can take:
1. Visit the Worst Kept Secret website where you will find useful help and advice about things you can do to improve your safety.
2. If you are able to, and it is safe to, please contact us directly via our Helpline, Email or Online Chat services where you can speak to a trained advisor who can give you support, advice and guidance. We will listen and offer choices to support you to reduce risk and improve your situation however we can.
3. Creating a Safety Plan can ensure you are prepared for any incidents that may occur. Think about what has worked best in the past to reduce escalation, can you walk away, go to another part of the house (avoiding high risk areas where there may be opportunistic weapons, knives, scissors, tools).
4. If you can, keep a mobile phone and small amount of money accessible at all times. Familiarise yourself with emergency escape routes and telephone numbers. Think about code words you could use to alert someone that you are in danger. Remember that you can leave your home. Even though the country has been placed on lockdown with instructions to remain at home, if you are at risk of or are experiencing domestic abuse, you can leave to seek support. This is classed as essential movement.
In an emergency, always ring 999. Using a silent 999 call followed by 55 (or tapping/coughing into the phone) will enable police to respond.
You Are Not Alone
This is an uncertain time for everyone, but it is important to remember that if you are experiencing domestic abuse, you are never alone. Whilst large areas of society are in lock- down, the support available to you remains open and available should you need it.
If you need to access support but you are being monitored think of ways to get out of the house or access a computer, things for you to consider could be: Shopping, home -schooling, exercise, supporting a loved one who cant get out, ordering a prescription, housing issues, going to the chemist.
Worst Kept Secret Helpline, 10-3 weekdays:
Website and online chat www.worstkeptsecret.org.uk
Remember to always call 999 in an emergency. If you cannot speak press 55 when the operator asks for information.
A big thank you to the Steve Morgan Foundation for funding an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the Worst Kept Secret during this lockdown period - look out for our adverts on social media, in the Liverpool Echo and online.
Other Useful support services
In an emergency always, ring 999. Using a silent 999 call followed by 55 (or tapping/coughing into the phone) will enable police to respond.
National Domestic Abuse 24 hour Support Helpline: 0808 2000 247
RESPECT National Helpline, perpetrators (9am to 5pm): 0808 802 4040
Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services 0151 263 7474
Merseyside Domestic Violence Service 0780 272 2703
South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services 0151 494 2222
Ruby Project 0771 428 9180
Savera UK (honour based abuse & harmful practice specialist) 0800 107 0726
Worst Kept Secret Helpline (Merseyside) 0800 028 3398
Support for children:
Young Persons Advisory Service (YPAS) 0151 707 1025
Support for men:
Men’s Advice Line (Freephone) 0808 801 0327