The ongoing lockdown has led to changes in all of our lives, including the fact that we are now spending a lot more time with the people we live with. In some cases this is giving people much needed quality time together, however, for other people, this is potentially putting them in danger, forcing them to spend more time with someone who is violent or abusive. We know that there will be carers who are having to isolate with someone who is abusive towards them, whether that is the person they care for or someone else.
There is a real fear that this period of concentrated time together could aggravate violent and abusive relationships. Since the lockdown started, there are reports of a 25% increase in requests for support from victims of abuse. People are finding themselves in difficult situations with fewer opportunities to go out and limited chances to get support. There is also the added challenge of children not being in school, potentially making it harder to get help.
Services in Leeds are continuing to support people in abusive and/or violent relationships throughout the lockdown. This includes refuges offering beds for people that need to urgently escape violent relationships. Listed below are contact details for local services. Services can be contacted via telephone (when safe to do so), using online contact forms and resources are also available to read online. While it may be more difficult to access support at the moment, it is not impossible and no-one needs to be alone in dealing with this.
If you are in an emergency, you should call 999. After calling 999, if for some reason you are unable to speak to the operator, you can press 55 on the keypad when prompted and the call will be put through to the police. They will then listen to the situation and gather all the information they can before responding.
The Home Office’s new public awareness campaign highlights that anyone at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, can still leave their home environment and seek refuge. Under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, it aims to create a community around those affected and reassure victims that support remains available.
If you’re in immediate danger, call 999 (press 55 after the emergency number if you’re in danger and unable to speak).
Leeds Domestic Violence (LDVS) Helpline : 0113 246 0401. If calling is unsafe, a web-chat service is now being offered from Monday-Friday between 1pm-3pm via https://leedswomensaid.co.uk. More information at https://ldvs.uk/.
Leeds Women’s Aid – 0113 246 0401 | https://leedswomensaid.co.uk/
Refuge – Freephone, 24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline Number – 0808 2000 247 | www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
For more information and resources in Leeds – https://www.leeds.gov.uk/domesticviolence/Pages/default.aspx
Children who don’t feel safe at home can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or NSPCC 0800 800 5000