We are already aware that coronavirus will impact the most vulnerable in our communities the most. Adults and children experiencing domestic abuse are extremely likely to be some of those that are affected.
Home could potentially be a dangerous place for victims who are self-isolating with “The imposition of self-isolation amplifying the abuser’s ability to restrict victims’ freedoms and leave them at heightened risk”
Self-isolation is likely to shut down channels to support and safety for victims, who may face even greater barriers to finding time away from the perpetrator to seek help and support. It’s important that we are prepared to recognise and respond to concerns that indicate domestic abuse may be occurring.
Friends and neighbours, look out for each other. If you are concerned for someone’s safety and wellbeing due to Domestic Abuse, please share information with the police. If you have a friend or colleague that you know is in a domestic abuse relationship check in with them where safe to do so, call them, text them and let them know you are there, they may need you to help them.
If you feel you or someone else is in immediate danger, call the police on 999 .
Call 101 if not an emergency.
The agencies on the below list may be able to support you or someone you care about. Women’s Aid are offering a “Live Chat”, the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is still running and the Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Services are still open. Online may be safer when in isolation, Women’s Aid and Open the door have a fast exit button to close the page quickly.
Freephone 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 247 2000, or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
Open the Door Cheshire https://www.openthedoorcheshire.org.uk/find-support/
Women’s Aid - https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can include, but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
It could also be in the form of ‘honour’ based violence, including forced marriage. female genital mutilation (FGM) or stalking and harassment.
Domestic abuse can affect anyone aged 16 upwards regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or social background.
The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary, just one instance counts as abuse, and it can be an ongoing pattern of behaviour. However, the one unchanging factor of a domestic abuse relationship is the ability of the abuser to maintain power and control over the victim.
Legislation was introduced in 2015 which made controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship an offence.
If any of what you have read hear sounds like your situation, it’s probable that you’re a victim of domestic abuse
If you feel you are a victim of any form of domestic abuse, or feel at risk, we can offer you a range of advice and support.
What can we at Weaver Vale Housing Trust do to help?
We can arrange to meet you in a place of safety to assess your situation and get you the help and or advice you need.
Your information will be kept confidential other than to the agencies that you have agreed are necessary to support you. However, as we take safeguarding of our customers seriously, if you or a child is at risk of significant harm we will share information with the relevant agencies.
We work closely with partner agencies to make sure you get the help you need, including if you need to leave your home or access legal advice.
If your home needs securing or you have urgent repairs, we can arrange for the work to be done as a priority.
We can also give you advice on applying for benefits and help you fill out the forms.
You can report any incidents to us by calling 0300 303 9848
But if you feel in immediate danger, please contact the police by calling 999.
Domestic Abuse Intervention and Prevention Service - 03001 237 047
Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service - 0808 2840484
Cheshire Without Abuse - 01270 250390
Cheshire Cares (Victim Services) - 01606 366 336
Women’s Housing Action Group (WHAG) - 0151 356 4686
If you live in Cheshire East:
Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub - 0300 123 5101
Text: 07771 941 464
You can also find free support tips and advice services across Cheshire by clicking here