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Domestic violence/abuse during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

At HPFT we recognise that some people may not feel safe at home and may experience some type of domestic abuse.

The household isolation instruction as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

By this we mean someone may be mistreated by:

  • Physical abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Online abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Coercive control and ‘gaslighting’(this means when someone plants a seed so that you start to question your own perception and judgements).

If you feel that you are experiencing any of the above there is support available for you.

Where to get help

If you believe you are being abused, or you are worried that you may commit domestic abuse, read this detailed government guidance on how to get help which includes how to recognise it, as well as contact information for organisations and services which offer support and advice.

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, dial 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can.

If you suspect that your friends, neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.

If you call 999 from a mobile

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

If you call 999 from a landline

If only background noise can be heard and operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is run by Refuge and offers free, confidential support 24 hours a day to victims and those who are worried about friends and loved ones.

Telephone: 0808 2000 247

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid has a live chat service and an online survivor’s forum. You can also find your local domestic abuse service on their website.

Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them.

Telephone: 0808 801 0327

Galop - for members of the LGBT+ community

Galop runs the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse helpline.

Telephone: 0800 999 5428

Email: help@galop.org.uk


Hestia provides a free 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 about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.

BME specialist services


Imkaan is a women’s organisation addressing violence against black and minority women and girls.

Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters offer advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.

Disability specialist services

Stay Safe East

Stay Safe East provides advocacy and support services to disabled victims and survivors of abuse.


SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).

Telephone: 020 3947 2601

Email: da@signhealth.org.uk

Economic abuse

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.

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 concerned that you or someone you know may be an abuser, there is support available. Respect is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from (ex) partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators.

Telephone: 0808 802 4040

Support for children and young people


The NSPCC helpline is available for advice and support for anyone with concerns about a child.

The NSPCC has issued guidance for spotting and reporting the signs of abuse.

Telephone: 0808 800 5000

Email: help@nspcc.org.uk


Childline provides help and support to children and young people.

Telephone: 0800 1111


Barnardo’s provide support to families affected by domestic abuse.

Family Lives

Family Lives provide support through online forums.

Information on child contact arrangements

Rights of Women provide guidance about child contact arrangements relating to COVID-19.

Welfare benefits

Department for Work and Pensions have published up-to-date COVID-19 related welfare benefits information.

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