Domestic abuse

Isolating at home can be worrying for those living with an abuser or in an abusive situation 

Here are some practical steps you can take to help keep you safe and reduce the risk of harm 

S - safe words and emojis

Arrange a safe word and/or emoji with a trusted friend, family member or neighbour that can be sent quickly. Let them know that you will use this to alert them that you need them to contact the emergency services on your behalf. Make sure this person knows where you are staying so they can arrange help to come to you. 

A - apps, helplines and online services

There are a number of apps, helplines, live chats, email services and online resources still available at this time. Visit www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-victim-and-witness-services to see what services may assist you. Organisations such as RespectUK, Victim Support, Refuge and Women’s Aid are still available. Apps like ‘Hollie Guard’ work by alerting designated contacts if you’re in danger through simple features such as shaking or tapping your mobile phone. 

F – family, friends and support

Ask someone you trust to check up on you regularly if it is safe to. Find the best, safest way to do this for you such as via text or email. Make sure they know your location in case of an emergency. Also try to find ways to keep in touch with trusted family members, friends or neighbours. Connecting with others and socialising can help make it easier to cope during difficult times.  

E - exits and safe spaces

Try to keep close to exits and away from rooms where you’re more likely to come to harm should a violent or abusive situation arise. Avoid areas like the kitchen or garage, and consider rooms with secure locks that you can go to if you need to call for help. 

T - try to keep your phone on you

If possible, keep a mobile phone with you at all times. Make sure to charge it as best as you can and keep it topped up with credit. You can use this to contact emergency services, support and helplines as well as to stay connected with family, friends and neighbours.  

Y - your life comes before social isolation

Remember immediate risk to life comes before social isolation. If you are in immediate danger of harm or abuse, call 999. Emergency services such as the police are still available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.