People across the UK have been given advice to stay at home in order to protect themselves and others during the coronavirus pandemic. However, for those who are at risk of domestic abuse, we know that this may have caused anxiety and fear. For some adults and children, the new regulations mean that they are with their abuser for longer.
Thames Valley Police wants to remind the public that the force will never tolerate domestic abuse. We are available 24/7 to provide help and support.
In an emergency, people should always call 999. If you can’t speak, call 999 and then dial 55. This is called the Silent Solution, and the call taker will sensitively manage the police response.
Whilst the government’s advice is to stay at home, anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, is still able to leave and seek refuge.
Detective Superintendent Rebecca Mears, Head of Public Protection, said: “You are likely to be feeling more alone than ever right now, but be assured that Thames Valley Police and all local and national agencies are extremely conscious of this and have put plans in place to support you. Reach out, whether it be to the police or another agency that is right for you. We can help you.
“Families, friends, colleagues and neighbours are also encouraged to be vigilant and call the police if they believe domestic abuse is affecting the lives of their loved ones or of their neighbours.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber said “Home does not feel like a safe place for victims of domestic abuse and in these uncertain times, I would like to assure victims that support through Victims First and other contracted service providers is available for those that need it. Services have been adapted in line with Government advice to ensure that we can continue to meet victims’ needs.
“Anyone experiencing domestic abuse and needing support can contact one of the Thames Valley domestic abuse services directly or can make an online referral to Victims First via our website www.victims-first.org.uk”
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.
More information about domestic abuse how to protect yourself in a domestic abuse situation, or how to spot the signs is available on our website: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/domestic-abuse/
Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour: Respect agency for perpetrators
In a non-emergency, people can:
- Call 101 or make a report online on our website
- Get in touch with charities that are ready to help:
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline: free, open, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247
- Women’s Aid
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 8010327
- Galop, for members of the LGBT+ community: 0800 999 5428
- Victims First: www.victims-first.org.uk
- Flag DV – offers free legal advice for Domestic Abuse 0800 731 0055
- Mankind –helpline for male victims of DA - 01823 334244
- SAFE! Supporting Young victims of crime (aged 5 – 18) across the Thames Valley: 0800 1337938