Support offered to victims of domestic abuse in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis – update

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At this particularly challenging time for victims of domestic abuse, it’s vitally important to know that support remains available.

The police and family law injunctions

The police continue to assist those who need it on an emergency basis. Please call 999 if you feel that you are in immediate danger. If the situation you are in means that you cannot speak, follow this by pressing 55.

We can offer advice on obtaining a non-molestation order and an occupation order available under family law. Both orders work with a view to keeping the victim safe from the perpetrator.

Domestic abuse charities

The Government has unveiled a large support package for domestic abuse charities, at a time when they are dealing with a huge influx in calls.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline080 2000 247, available 24/7

Women’s Aid – live chat service (with the green ‘exit site’ button to the right-hand side of the page)

Men’s Advice Line0808 801 0327, Monday and Wednesday 9am-8pm, all other weekdays 9am-5pm

Galop (for members of the LGBT+ community) – 0800 999 5428, Monday to Friday 10am-5pm and Wednesday to Thursday 10am-8pm

Chayn (for multi-lingual support) – https://chayn.co/

Karma Nirvana (for ‘honour’-based abuse) – 0800 5999 247, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

Refuge (Fenland/Hunts/Peterborough) – 07787 255821

Boots stores

2,400 Boots stores across the UK are now offering a safe space for victims of domestic abuse on a ‘no questions asked’ basis.

Hestia, an organisation which supports victims of domestic abuse and modern slavery, is overseeing the scheme through which victims can access support via helplines in the safety of Boots consultation rooms.

Calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247), which operates 24 hours a day, have increased by almost 50% since the 23 March. Despite the growing prevalence of domestic abuse in the wake of the lockdown measures, it’s encouraging to know that many people are reaching out for the support they need. It’s hoped that this scheme will make it easier for victims of domestic abuse to access help under the guise that they are going shopping.

Hestia’s ‘Bright Sky’ app allows victims of domestic abuse to log incidents and send them to a safe email address. This may be particularly useful if the perpetrator is very controlling and will not allow them to leave the home.

‘Rail to refuge’

The Government has clarified that victims of domestic abuse do not have to “Stay at Home”.

The ‘Rail to refuge’ scheme offers free train tickets for victims of domestic abuse to travel to a recognised refuge.

Upon receipt of an offer to stay at a refuge, tickets can be accessed by contacting Women’s Aid and other charities. Please see above the contact details of the various organisations.

On 2 May, the Housing Secretary announced that £76 million is being made available to support survivors of domestic abuse and vulnerable children. This money will help victims to access safe accommodation, and an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 will offer victims priority housing.

Extra support (Stamford and Peterborough area)

The Galletly Practice team in Bourne (Lincolnshire) has advised those suffering from domestic abuse to come to the entrance of the Galletly Practice, or call on 01778 562200.

Once you have made contact, inform the receptionist that you have an appointment in Treatment Room 15, or call to ask for an appointment in this room. This will alert the receptionist that you need assistance. Upon arrival you will be escorted to a room where a doctor or nurse will help you.

Whilst this service is perhaps more useful to those who are in closer proximity to our Stamford and Peterborough offices, we are confident that this offer of help will extend to those who live in all areas, provided you are able to attend the surgery.

If you are aware of any other places offering similar support at this time, please safely spread the word. We cannot underestimate the importance of hopeful messages being shared at a time like this.