Posted: Wed 21st Oct 2020

Domestic abuse and sexual violence survivors in Wales encouraged to seek help during firebreak lockdown

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 21st, 2020


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The Deputy Minister of Wales has today announced an appeal for people to look out for signs of domestic abuse over the upcoming firebreak lockdown.

Chief Whip Jane Hutt MS also encouraged both victims and survivors to seek help and escape their homes if they can.

Specialist services such as helplines are still open and available for victims of domestic abuse to use.

Perpetrator services, which work to prevent incidents of domestic abuse, also remain open and continues to provide support especially during the lockdown period.

Jane Hutt MS said: “Times of crisis can result in an increase in incidents of domestic violence, and home is not always a place of safety.

“It is vital, if you are at risk, that you should seek support straight away. You will not be in trouble if you need to leave your home to seek help, and specialist services are open and operating, refuges will take referrals, and support is available to help you.

“I want to emphasise this – if you are in danger or need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse, you are allowed to do so – you will not be in trouble. You can cross county boundaries and travel wherever necessary, and specialist services can help find you suitable emergency accommodation and support.

“I urge communities, friends, neighbours, postal workers and delivery drivers across Wales to look out for each other, and act as the eyes and ears for victims of abuse who need help. These are scary times for all of us, but those at risk of abuse could be hanging on to life by a thread.

“It is very important, for your safety and the victim’s, that you don’t intervene yourself, but you can help by calling 999 in an emergency or ‘Live Fear Free’.

“You could be saving a life.”

Here are some ways to get help if a friend, family member or colleague is suffering domestic abuse:

  • The ‘Live Fear Free’ helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – call for free on 0808 8010 800 any time if it is safe to do so. Alternatively, text 0786 007 7333, email [email protected] or webchat – https://gov.wales/live-fear-free/contact-live-fear-free
  • If not able to talk in safety, but help is needed immediately, police forces across Wales will respond to a silent 999 call – dial 999, followed by 55 when the operator answers to indicate being unable to talk but need help
  • Signs of abuse happening behind closed doors could include repeated shouting, sounds of things being hit, smashed or broken, and continuing crying or pleas to stop. Victims may have cuts or bruises, look confused, dishevelled, anxious or withdrawn.
  • If suspecting someone, whether a child or adult, is suffering abuse, harm, neglect, harassment, control, physical violence or emotional abuse at the hands of a family member or partner, call 999 if it is an emergency, or seek support on the Welsh Government’s ‘reporting suspected abuse, harm or neglect site’ here – https://gov.wales/reporting-suspected-abuse-harm-or-neglect-safeguarding.
  • If worried about own behaviour, there is a non-judgemental helpline – contact the ‘Respect Phoneline’: https://respectphoneline.org.uk/, tel: 0808 8024 040

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