Don't let lockdown become domestic abuse nightmare
Victims of domestic abuse are being urged not to suffer in silence during the coronavirus crisis.
While extended periods of time spent at home can bring new pressures for everyone, the current situation will be particularly stressful for those at risk of abuse or violence.
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council wants to offer reassurance to victims and their loved ones that support is available despite the necessary social distancing measures.
Cleveland Police are urging victims to report abuse by calling 101, or in an emergency 999. If victims are afraid to speak they can cough or dial 55 once connected and call handlers will know assistance is needed.
Services including Foundation, EVA Women's Aid and Halo are also still operating and ready to listen to anyone who has concerns.
Cllr Steve Kay, cabinet member for Health, Housing and Welfare, said: “We know this is an extremely difficult time for everyone and that spending lots of time at home will be some people's worst nightmare if they are at risk of domestic abuse.
“Now more than ever it's important to remember that domestic abuse comes in many forms. We're not just referring to violence, but a range of situations where victims are controlled or manipulated.
“The council works closely with a number of organisations in relation to domestic abuse and although the way they are working has changed, they are still on hand to help people who need support."
Kira Moxon-Lumb, project manager of Foundation Redcar, said: “At this time when many people find themselves in lockdown with their abusers and little chance to leave, it's really important that they do not suffer in silence. There are services out there to help, and victims are allowed to leave home if they are in a domestic abuse situation.
“Foundation is here continuing to support victims of domestic abuse in the Redcar and Cleveland area and we encourage anyone who needs help to get in touch with us. Our website offers advice and contact details. It has a button to leave the site quickly, and the top tab shows as a Google search. People can also call us on 0300 456 2214 - only if it is safe to do so.
“In an emergency, victims can place a silent call to 999, pressing 55 when prompted. As well as one-to-one phone advice and support, we are offering virtual online freedom support programmes for victims of domestic abuse."
The council is promoting the following contact details for services around Redcar and Cleveland while reminding people to call 999 or 101 if they need to report an immediate risk.
For those experiencing domestic abuse:
Foundation on 0300 4562214 (free number for clients), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.foundationuk.org
EVA Women's Aid on 01642 490677, email email@example.com or visit www.eva.org.uk
Halo Project on 01642 683045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For people behaving abusively:
Route2 on 01642 441873, email email@example.com or visit www.route2.org.uk
For people who have experienced rape and other sexual offences:
SARC Teesside, via the Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 01642 516888
Arch on 01642 822331
Additionally, anyone who has concerns about adults or children can contact the council's Adult Access Team or Children & Families Services on 01642 771500.