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11.04.2020

At home shouldn’t mean at risk, reports of domestic abuse and child abuse number surge

In solidarity with sufferers of abuse, you can make your own picture of a hand with a heart inside and display it in your window 

On mobile you can call 999 and press 55, which takes you straight through to the police without you having to ask for them.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and domestic abuse

Concerned about domestic abuse during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak? Read the factsheet Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse.

The household isolation instruction as a result of COVID-19 does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.

Domestic abuse in a relationship: recognise it

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

There are different kinds of abuse that can happen in different contexts. The most prevalent type of domestic abuse occurs in relationships. But the definition of domestic abuse also covers abuse between family members, such as adolescent to parent violence and abuse. You can read our guidance on adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA) (PDF, 682KB, 35 pages).

For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be in an abusive relationship.

Emotional abuse

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
  • accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
  • tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
  • control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?

Threats and intimidation

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy things that belong to you?
  • stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • read your emails, texts or letters?
  • harass or follow you?

Physical abuse

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • slap, hit or punch you?
  • push or shove you?
  • bite or kick you?
  • burn you?
  • choke you or hold you down?
  • throw things?

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they’re male or female.

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • touch you in a way you don’t want to be touched?
  • make unwanted sexual demands?
  • hurt you during sex?
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
  • pressure you to have sex?

If your partner, or former partner, has sex with you when you don’t want to, this is rape.

Have you ever felt afraid of your partner or former partner?

Have you ever changed your behaviour because you’re afraid of what your partner, or former partner, might do?

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, there is help available.

Report it

If you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic abuse find out how to report domestic abuse.

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set.

Call 999 from a mobile

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

Call 999 from a landline

If only background noise can be heard and operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

For more information and support services visit > https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help

 

 

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