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Domestic abuse and COVID-19

For many people, home is not a place of safety. It’s more important than ever that help continues to be available to adults and children living with abuse. But with lockdowns and isolation, it can be more difficult for professionals who work with people experiencing abuse to provide support to those who need it. 

If you need help now

If you, or someone else, is in immediate danger please call 999 and ask for the police. Silent calls will work if you are not safe to speak – use the Silent Solution system and call 999 and then press 55 when prompted. If you can’t use a voice phone, you can register with the police text service – text REGISTER to 999. You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in danger. Find out more

Remember, Government rules about household isolation as a result of coronavirus do not apply to you if you are experiencing abuse at home at home. You can reach out for support. Find out how to get help.  

Supporting victims, survivors and professionals

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we’ve been sharing resources to help. But we know things are moving quickly at the moment. So we’ve also been sending out regular updates to our mailing list with all the latest guidance about domestic abuse and COVID-19. Sign up here.   

You’ll find more information below about how we’ve been supporting professionals and people experiencing abuse or take a look at resources for:

If you live in Scotland, please also see our Safe at Home in Scotland guidance

Survivors’ voices

During the first lockdown in Spring 2020, we ran a survey to hear the voices of victims and survivors. Here’s what they told us. For more information, see a report of the latest results.

These findings have been shared with the Government to tell them what people experiencing abuse need.

Codeword scheme

Early in the pandemic our incredible group of Pioneer survivors put forward the idea of a code word to be used in the few shops allowed to be open – supermarkets and pharmacies. With support from the DA Commissioner and Victim’s Commissioner, we proposed a scheme to the Home Office.

We’re delighted to have been able to work with them in creating Ask for ANI. Read more about the scheme and participating pharmacies

Listen to our latest podcast

Spotlight is the podcast that shines a light on the issues around domestic abuse. Listen to our latest episode below or see the full series on Soundcloud.

Working with the Government

We recognise that the Government has had to introduce emergency measures to protect those who are vulnerable to the coronavirus and to ensure that essential services can continue to function. However, this also increases the risk to people experiencing abuse.

Our briefing for MPs on the Coronavirus Bill sets out the key issues faced by people experiencing abuse at this time and what must be done to support them.

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Further reading and resources