Last week, the Home Secretary set out what actions the Government is taking to support Domestic Abuse Victims and increase awareness of where people can access help during this difficult time. Like my colleagues, I have been concerned about the reported rises in cases of people seeking help during this lockdown, and am pleased that the Government is taking the following action:
- Providing £2million in funding to immediately bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support. The Home Office is working with charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to ensure this money is being spent where most effective and that frontline charities and organisations have the help they need.
- Launching an awareness campaign demonstrating that help is available at any time. From this week, adverts will be running across social media showing where people can get help and materials will be made available to wide range of partners including charities and supermarkets.
In addition, police across both Hillingdon and Harrow have assured me that they are continuing to prioritise and respond to domestic abuse calls, and are working closely with a range of partners to ensure victims receive the support and service they need.
I am pleased that both Council’s providing for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner are committed to preventing and eradicating all forms of violence and abuse. Local refuges and domestic abuse services are receiving continued support from my colleagues and I at a local level to help those who are vulnerable access the services and support they need.
- 24 Hour Free Telephone Helpline: The National Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0808 2000 247 (run by Refuge) and online www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
- The Silent Solution option: Anybody requiring urgent medical or police assistance are encouraged to call 999. For those at risk, unable to say over the phone what help is needed, they should stay on the line and when prompted by the operator dial 55. This will let the emergency services know that it is a Domestic Abuse incident and does not put the victim at risk.
- Age UK have also published guidance for elderly people who may be at risk, which can be found here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/coronavirus/staying-safe-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.pdf
- Harrow Council Domestic Abuse Support: https://www.harrow.gov.uk/adult-social-care/staying-safe/11?documentId=13072&categoryId=210263
- Hillingdon Council Domestic Abuse Support: https://hillingdon.gov.uk/abuse
Further information can be found on the Government website, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse