As the UK moves into another national lockdown, support remains available for anyone at risk of domestic abuse.
For anyone experiencing any type of abuse, it is important to remember that the abuse is not your fault and help remains available from police and support services.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, isolation rules do not apply.
Emerging evidence from statutory and voluntary agencies across the UK has emphasised the increased risks of domestic abuse during the pandemic.
National domestic violence charity Refuge has reported a 25% increase in calls and online requests since the first lockdown in March 2020.
Advice and support
Anyone can call the following services for advice and support:
- The Portal freephone 0300 323 9985, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Portal website.
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline 24 hour free phone 0808 2000 247 or go to www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
If you are in immediate danger, always call 999.
If you need to, you can use the ‘silent solution’. This is an automated service meaning that if you call 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.
What if I see someone I’m worried about?
If you see someone and are left feeling worried in any way, please pass on your concerns to someone who can help.
It is better to share the information, even if it seems like something small. Please include as much information as you have and all the basic details of the person or family.
The council support services below will have access to other information to help them decide how best keep the person safe.
- If you’re worried about a child, call our Front Door For Families service on 01273 290400 (or 01273 335 905 out of hours) or report concerns online through our Front Door For Families webpages
- If you’re worried about an adult, call Access Point on 01273 295555, report concerns online through our Adult Social Care webpages, or email AccessPoint@brighton-hove.gov.uk
- In an emergency, always call 999
Help is available
Councillor Steph Powell, joint chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee said: “This is a worrying time for us all, but particularly for adults and children living with domestic violence, or who have experienced stalking or sexual abuse.
“There’s been a shocking rise in national domestic abuse reports nationally during the pandemic and for anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence, stalking or abuse, this year has been particularly harrowing.
“To anyone in that horrible situation, please remember that you are not alone. Help and support is available. Abuse is a crime and it is not your fault.
“If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can leave your home to seek safety.
“Any Covid restrictions in place do not apply and support services, including the police, are available to help you.”
Share the message
Jo Gough, CEO of RISE, the Sussex domestic abuse charity, said: “Domestic abuse has worsened during Covid-19 and RISE is seeing rising demand.
“Abusers are using the pandemic as a tool of abuse, and isolation is shutting down routes to support and safety for those who may face even greater barriers to finding time away from a perpetrator to seek help.
“Please help share as many ways for people to get help as possible.
“There is also the national helpline which is open round the clock and can be reached 0808 200 0247.
“Support is also available through Women's Aid Live Chat, Women's Aid Email Advice and the Women's Aid Survivors Forum, as well as the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ Domestic Abuse Helpline which can be reached on 0800 999 5428.
“If you are worried about your behaviour, you can call Respect on 0808 802 4040.
“We can all play a part by sharing this message on social media, on mutual aid groups, and in whatever way you can. Domestic abuse is everyone’s business.
“If you're experiencing abuse, remember it's not your fault. Contact the Portal and you will be listened to, believed and supported.”
For more information about the domestic violence and abuse support available in Brighton & Hove, visit our help with domestic abuse pages.