Our city is a generous and compassionate place to live. Since the coronavirus crisis began we’ve seen our communities work together and volunteers come forward to help look after vulnerable residents.
If you know anyone who needs help or are in need of support yourself, contact the community hub with details. This can be anything from help with shopping to reducing loneliness. A wide range of volunteer and professional support is available.
Yet despite all the hard work, the restrictions on movement which have been so vital to reducing the spread of the virus have been easier for some to bear than others.
The sad truth is that a shocking rise in domestic abuse has been reported nationally during the pandemic. For those experiencing domestic violence, stalking or abuse in any form, the anxiety of recent weeks has been magnified.
As we’ve said before, if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse then you can leave your home to seek safety. The restrictions do not apply and support services, including the police, are available to help you.
Please do not think you are alone and remember it is not your fault when someone is abusive.
The UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, Refuge, reported that the number of calls to their National Domestic Abuse helpline 25% above average in the second week of lockdown and 49% higher than normal after three weeks.
These statistics translate into a terrible rise in the number of people living in fear of abuse.
If you have been affected by domestic or sexual abuse and violence you can talk to someone and get support.
How to get help
The Portal is a partnership of leading Sussex Domestic and Sexual Abuse Charities, including RISE and Survivors Network which offer a range of other services in Brighton & Hove.
The Portal can also connect you with a range of other support services both locally and nationally depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
Using local services means that you can be provided with ongoing support if you need it.
- The Portal freephone 0300 323 9985
- National Domestic Violence 24hr helpline 0808 2000 247
- In an emergency call 999, and use the ‘silent solution’ if needed (see below)
The Home Office ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign aims to remind anyone at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse, that support services remain available during this difficult time.
It includes details of a way for people who are in immediate danger to call for vital help using minimal conversation.
Called the ‘silent solution’, this automated service means that if you ring 999 and the operator hears no response, you will be directed to press ‘55’ if you need help.
The conversation will then continue in a way that allows the caller to communicate by using yes/no to answer questions.
For further advice and support options relating to domestic violence and abuse, visit please visit our help with domestic abuse pages.
Looking out for vulnerable children and adults
Abuse and neglect can happen in different ways, and can be perpetrated by anyone. This might be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. Abuse is always wrong.
If you see something, are told something, or something doesn't feel right - you need to report it.
- You can report your concerns to adult social care services, through Access Point online or by calling 01273 295555 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm)
- If you are worried about a child, contact Front Door for Families online or by calling 01273 290400 (Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and Friday until 4.30pm)
We’re living in strange times and we need to look out for each. Stay safe and well.
Councillor Clare Moonan,
Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board