Incidents of domestic abuse are increasing during the COVID-19 lockdown. It's important to know that if you're in an abusive relationship you can still leave home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (including sexual, emotional, financial or psychological) between people that are, or have been, partners or family members. It can affect everyone, married and unmarried people, people who live together or in different homes, young and old, straight and gay, women and men. It can also affect different generations of people, for example grown-up children abusing their parents.
You do not have to be physically assaulted to be suffering domestic abuse.
It can happen occasionally or regularly. It is rarely a one-off, and a pattern tends to build up over a period of time.
It is never the fault of the person being abused. It is unacceptable whatever the circumstances and we will work hard to help you.
What will happen:
We will put you at the centre of what we do. Our first concern is the safety of you and any children, and we will discuss ways of keeping you safe.
We will aim to see you within 24 hours of you contacting us, at a location of your choice. You can see a person of the same sex if you wish. If you need it we can arrange for an interpreter.
What you tell us will remain confidential, unless you give us permission to talk to anyone else. There may be times when we have to talk to other people, such as if we need to protect a child or vulnerable person from harm, or to prevent a crime taking place. We will tell you about this.
We work closely with other agencies to keep you safe and support you. If you agree to it we will contact them for you. We will keep you informed about this and they may contact you themselves.
We can provide extra security to your home if you need it.
We will agree a plan with you about how we will help you.
This could be:
- Supporting you to stay in your home safely.
- Advice you if you want to leave and need emergency housing.
- Help and support with moving house.
- Advice about your tenancy rights.
- Getting you specialist support.
- Advice about your rent, bills and benefits when this is a problem for you.
- Looking at legal interventions. such as injunctions and occupation and non-molestation orders, to protect you.
- Ask you to prove you are suffering domestic abuse.
- Make you do anything that you don't want to.
If you need to leave:
In an emergency
- Dial 999
- Move to a safe place, avoid the kitchen if you can and try and get near a door.
Try and keep the following items in a safe place where you can easily get to them:
- Mobile phone with important phone numbers saved.
- Spare keys for the house and car.
- Some money.
- A change of clothes.
- Important documents, such as passport and driving licence, your bank cards, benefit letters etc.
- Essential medicines.
- A favourite children's toy.
- Leave when it is safe.
- If you forget anything, arrange a police escort back so you can get things safely.
- Have a plan in your mind about where you will go and how you will get there.
Stock photo posed by model.