Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen people’s day-to-day life be drastically altered. These changes are essential to beat coronavirus and protect our NHS.
The government acknowledges that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you. Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour.
The government supports and funds a number of charities who are able to provide advice and guidance and we are in regular contact with the charity sector and the police to ensure that these support services remain open during this challenging time.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is more than physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:
- coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
- economic abuse
- online abuse
- verbal abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
Where to get help
If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the following services which can help you.
If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.
Call 999 or 555 from mobile phone
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police – the police will continue to respond to emergency calls
If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. They can also be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The website also has a form through which women can book a safe time for a call from the team.
Women’s Aid has provided additional advice specifically designed for the current coronavirus outbreak, including a live chat service.
Men’s Advice Line
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. It can be contacted on 0808 801 0327.
Galop – for members of the LGBT+ community
If you are concerned about how coronavirus may affect your finances and leave you vulnerable to economic abuse, please see the advice provided by HM Treasury on what support is on offer. The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support.
Hestia provides a free-to-download mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.
Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages, ranging from identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.
Support for professionals
SafeLives is providing guidance and support to professionals and those working in the domestic abuse sector, as well as additional advice for those at risk.
Support if you are worried about hurting someone
If you are worried about hurting the ones you love while staying at home, call the Respect Phoneline for support and help to manage your behaviour, 0808 8024040.
For more advice and guidance on domestic abuse, please see Domestic abuse: how to get help.
Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs
The Domestic Abuse Helpline does not replace either the Children’s or Adult’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs but will be linking closely to them both with key link professionals in place. Reporting into child protection and safeguarding adults’ processes will continue as normal with this process adding an additional support and opportunity for services to work together.
Referrals to the Children’s MASH and Family Support services should go through the online portal.
If you have a child safeguarding concern that can’t wait for a referral form, you should call the Children’s MASH on 020 8379 5555.
If you are concerned about an adult experiencing domestic abuse, then you can refer them to the Domestic Abuse Hub or sign-post them. Adults with disabilities of any kind (including age related frailty) are sadly twice as likely (as the general population) to be subject to domestic abuse in any given year. If you think that an adult you’ve identified (or anyone within their household/ related to the situation) has other care and support needs, then you can refer via the attached numbers.
To report abuse of an adult with care and support needs, Monday to Friday during working hours, you can ring Enfield Council and speak to the Adult Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub:
Tel: 020 8379 3196
Or e-mail TheMASHteam@enfield.gov.uk
We also have a dedicated phone line (to take reports) which is available day or night:
Tel: 020 8379 5212
To report abuse in Enfield from a textphone
Tel: 18001 020 8379 5212
Please note that these are not emergency services – always dial 999 if an ambulance or Police are required.
If you believe an adult needs support from carers or occupational therapy on a non-urgent basis then please call the Enfield Single Point of Access on: 0208 379 1001
Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
New Enfield Domestic Abuse Hub and Free-phone Helpline 0800 923 9009
Go Live 1st May 2020
Both the Hub and the Helpline are operational 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday
Domestic abuse is every-one’s responsibility and all services must continue to promote awareness and understanding, responding and supporting accordingly. Developing a multiagency hub with a dedicated free-phone telephone line will:
- Support and enhance the current delivery
- Increase safe opportunities for those most in need to make contact
- Offer a joined up holistic whole Council response to domestic abuse
- Respond to concerns quickly to reduce risks to and ensure safety of children and vulnerable adults
The Domestic Abuse Hub does not replace either the Early Help Family Hub, Children’s or Adult’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs but will be linking closely to them both with key link professionals in place. Please see attached document for more information.
Always dial 999 if an ambulance or Police are required.
Enfield domestic abuse helpline toolkit
Your organisation can help to support those in need of help by promoting the helpline.
Free Phone 0800 923 9009
We have included an easy to use toolkit for your organisation to use and this include a range of images – key messages and links as follows:
Key messages to send out with visuals
- In a relationship, violence, threats and controlling behaviour are all signs of domestic abuse. Don’t be afraid to call us for help and support. Domestic abuse is a crime.
- We know this is a worrying and difficult time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with abuse. If you are currently experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse, call us, we are here to help you. Domestic abuse is not okay and is a crime.
- The Domestic abuse Hub will provide a multi-agency response to anyone fleeing domestic abuse. There will be a dedicated free telephone number and a specialist team to ensure no one is turned away and support is there for anyone in need.
- Domestic abuse remains a hidden problem in our society which has a massive impact on those effected and their families. Domestic abuse happens across all communities, faiths and cultures. Don’t be afraid to report it. Call us.
- We would like to reassure you that we will be doing all that we can to support you during this challenging time now and in the future. Call us, domestic abuse is a crime.
- Being in isolation doesn’t mean you’re on your own. We can support you #enfieldCallUs
Where appropriate please include the hashtag #enfieldCallUs on your social media posts – not only with the domestic abuse marketing visuals but, where appropriate, with posts you send out about the other help and support your organisation offers. This will help promote the service and hopefully make the helpline number known to a wider audience.
We also have a dedicated domestic abuse page on our website where you can find out more about the helpline and other issues relating to domestic abuse www.enfield.gov.uk/dv ,as well a dedicated email platform as another channel for victims of abuse (or friends / family) to access help and support callusDAH@enfield.gov.uk
Steps to take to keep you safe.
It is important to think through what steps you can take to keep safe. How might you respond in different situations? How will you get help if you need it?
- Try to keep your mobile phone on you at all times. Try to make sure your mobile phone is charged.
- Family, friends and neighbours can support you.
- Can you safely keep in touch with people you trust over the phone or online? This could be a friend, family member, neighbour, carer, or support worker. You can use the opportunities when you can leave the house to make these calls e.g. when you go to the supermarket.
- Can you talk to them about what you are experiencing?
- Can you have a code word with a trusted person that lets them know it is not safe to talk or to ask them to phone the police?
- Could you agree a regular time and day for them to check-in?
- Let them know if there are safe times to call you
- Get familiar with how to delete messages quickly. If the abuser is monitoring your phone – delete your messages or call records afterwards. You can also try apps that allow for more secrecy. For example, Telegram and Signal
- The police are a key service when in immediate danger. Do not be afraid to call 999 in an emergency
- Silent Solution: When you call 999, the operator (the person on the phone) will ask which emergency service is required. Listen to the questions from the 999 operator. If you cannot say ‘police’ or ‘ambulance’, respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. If prompted, press 55 on your phone. This lets the 999 call operator know it’s an emergency and that you aren’t safe to speak. Click here to find out more.
- Emergency text service: If you can’t call because you are d/Deaf or can’t verbally communicate, you can register with the police text service. Text REGISTER to 999. You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in danger. Click here to find out more.
- Reporting a crime: If you need to report a crime but you are not in immediate danger, you can call the police on 101 or report online. The police have a duty to protect you and your children. You should not be discriminated against for any reason, including your immigration status.
Some questions to think through:
- Think through the layout of your house. Which rooms are safest? For example, where you can more easily leave the house. Which rooms should you try and avoid during an incident? For example, the kitchen.
- If your children are old enough – can you teach them how to call for help?
- If you had to leave in an emergency do you know where you would go?
- If possible pack an emergency bag for you and your children and keep it somewhere safe. Try to include essential things such as medication, identification, money or cards, and essential clothing for you and your children.