Guidance for staying safe when self isolating with your abuser during the Coronavirus pandemic
- If you feel that you or someone else is in danger please always call 999. If you can’t speak then cough or make a noise then tap 55 on keypad and follow instructions.
- Keep your phone charged and with you at all times.
- Try to keep your distance from abuser at home and if safe to do so go for a walk or drive.
- Make sure you have your (and your children’s) important documents in a safe place.
- Avoid rooms in the home where abuser could access a weapon (kitchen, shed etc.) or where they could lock you in.
- Identify a safe room. Does the door lock and is there a phone signal or outside window/exit so that you can call for help or get out?
- Plan your escape route(s) and think about where you would go if you needed to leave.
- Agree a code word NOW with a trusted friend/family member/neighbour to let them know you are safe or to signal that you need them to call for help. Or agree to place an object in plain sight (in window etc.) to signal help is needed.
- Show your children how to call 999 and how to ask for help. Tell them not to let the abuser in.
- Agree a code word with your children to let them know when they need to leave the house.
- Check or update your social media, banking, email and computer privacy and password settings.
- Think about your home security (smoke alarms, door chain, change locks).
- Talk to someone about what is happening to you. Friend, family or a professional.
- Consider changing phone contact names of key/support workers to general titles i.e. Dentist, School Office etc.
- Do not threaten to leave. Get advice about how to leave safely and have a pre packed bag that you can leave somewhere safe, such as with a friend.
- Agree a contact schedule with someone you trust and agree what they should do if you miss a contact.
- Try to minimise alcohol consumption as the probability of abuse increases when alcohol is involved.
- Alcohol also decreases your ability to think clearly and react.
Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control can happen to anyone. It is NOT fair and it is NOT your fault. You have the right to live without fear of abuse or violence.
How can the Lancashire Victim Services IDVA Service help?
We offer advice, advocacy and support to any victims over the age of 16 at high risk of significant harm, regardless of their sexuality, gender, disability, culture or background. Our service is free, independent & confidential and can provide support with the following:
• Listen to your concerns and assess current risks to ensure that you receive the most appropriate support.
• Develop a safety and support plan based on your individual circumstances and explore your options and choices.
• Explore the option of having a survey to look at home security.
• Discuss housing options available to you including homelessness and refuge and your housing rights.
• Explain the criminal justice process and the effectiveness of criminal and civil remedies.
• Where possible liaise with agencies such as Housing, CPS, Police, Solicitors and Social Care etc.
• Advocate for you at the MARAC (multi-agency risk assessment conference) and work collectively with other agencies to reduce your risk and keep you and your children safer.
• Signpost and support you to access other specialist agencies & support networks.
Lancashire Victim Services – Independent Domestic Violence Advocates
Free, confidential specialist support.
Please contact us on 0300 323 0085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use the live chat on our website.
Other Useful Contact Details:
National 24h DV Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Victim Support 24hr Support Line: 0808 168 9111
National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
Honour Based Abuse Helpline: 0800 5999 247
LGBT DV Helpline: 0300 999 5428
Revenge Porn Helpline: 0345 6000 459
Respect Phone-line: 0808 802 4040
ChildLine: 0800 1111
Samaritans: 116123 (24hr support)
Refuge Helpline:0808 2000 247
Police non-emergency: 101