Trigger warning: domestic violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault
Domestic violence and abuse has increased globally during the pandemic, according to a number of reports.
One of the reasons for leaving your home during lockdown is, rightly so, to “escape, seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).”
Fortunately, there are a number of charities out there who can help people suffering from domestic violence or abuse. We hope we can point you in the right direction of confidential support, advice and guidance on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline has helped thousands of people living with abusers. It’s common for abusers to tell you you’re not being abused or assaulted (this is called “gaslighting.”). The charity helps you discover what constitutes abuse or violence, giving you a starting point to work with. They can give you legal advice, housing support, financial support, childcare arrangements and much more. The website features a live chat option where you can talk to advisors directly. The website also has a “Quick exit” button if you need to leave the site quickly. If a person is trying to control your tech usage (e.g. social media, text messages, etc), the charity offers a collection of resources to help protect your privacy.
Tel: 0808 2000 247
Women’s Aid helps women, children and teenagers escape from domestic violence. If you’re doubting yourself on whether you’re suffering from domestic violence, you can take a confidential “Am I in an abusive relationship?” quiz. The charity can assist you in finding women’s housing, safety planning and dealing with the police. There’s even a section called The Hideout where children and teenagers experiencing domestic violence or abuse can find practical guidance. There’s also an option to “hide” the page if needed, as well as a guide to covering your tracks online when seeking help.
Tel: Live chat
The ManKind Initiative specialises in providing help and support for male victims of domestic abuse. The charity has a mantra: “You are not to blame. You are not weak. You are not alone.” You can see this in action in the section about inspiring stories from domestic violence survivors. The charity provides lots of great resources such as where to find emergency housing, legal support and listening support. The latter is designed to help you realise you’re not to blame and simply gives you someone to talk to anonymously.
Tel: 01823 334244
Galop is a charity providing help and resources to LGBTQI+ people who have gone through domestic abuse or experienced hate crime. You’ll be able to access a comprehensive list of services to help you with your situation. This includes, but isn’t limited to, help with reporting incidents, help finding a solicitor, free counselling, advice on child safety, emotional support and housing advice. Additionally, there’s a domestic abuse survivor’s forum where people from around the country can talk safely and anonymously with each other, as well as experts from the charity itself.
Tel: 0800 999 5428
Sometimes we may turn to drink and drugs as a coping mechanism – especially those who live with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues as a result of emotional and physical domestic abuse. Rehab4Addiction helps those struggling with alcohol and drug addictions through rehabilitation and detoxification programmes. They’re well-known for signposting people to the right treatment and support – so if you or someone close to you is dealing with an addiction, make an enquiry today.
Tel: 0800 140 4690
Silent Solution: What to do if you need urgent police help through the 999 service, but can’t speak.
emergencySMS: A service for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people where you can send a text to 999.
Karma Nirvana: A charity helping those in forced marriages and honour-based abuse.
Rape Crisis England & Wales: Help for people who have been sexually assaulted.
Free Your Mind: A live chat service for children and teenagers who are affected by domestic violence at home.
NYAS: National Youth Advocacy Service – a charity helping vulnerable teenagers and young adults (aged 24 years and under).
NB: We aren’t affiliated with any of the charities in any way. This blog is a resource for those who need it.