The national media has reported a significant increase in domestic abuse incidents over the last few weeks as the country responds to life in lockdown. The charity ‘Refuge’ has said The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help since the new measures have been in place.
We recognise that domestic abuse can occur in any community and can impact on anyone regardless of gender, faith or background. It is important that we recognise this period will be a pressurised time for some and it is likely that access to services who can support and advise may be hugely welcomed and important for the individuals and families affected by this.
There are a number of organisations, both national and regional, who can offer specialist advice and support to those who are experiencing, or are at risk of, domestic abuse. Support is available via telephone, and some services offer discreet, easy ways to access help, including via text messages, online web chat services or mobile Apps.
If someone you know from your church, parish or community has concerns regarding domestic abuse, or you are worried they may need access to specialist support, the following agencies are there to offer help:
Contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline 24-hours a day, for free and in confidence. 0808 2000 247 or Contact them online
IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting anyone experiencing or affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence. Call the North Yorkshire helpline on 03000 110 110
Alternatively, IDAS offer an extended Live Chat from 3 pm - 6 pm for anyone who is worried about their relationship or for someone they know. Info via https://www.idas.org.uk/contact/
National Centre for Domestic violence:
0800 9702070 or text: NCDV to 60777
Refuge : https://www.refuge.org.uk/
Refuge UK wide 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247 • Police: via 101 or 999 (press 55 when prompted if you can't speak)
The church is committed to responding well to domestic abuse. The national policy and practice guidance can be found here:
Equally, and just as importantly, many people will find they are struggling with their mental health as we all attempt to adapt to social distancing and isolation measures. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people.
This might feel difficult or stressful, but there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing.
For those looking for support with their mental health, the following services can be accessed quickly and with confidence.
Samaritans, via telephone or email
Mind, via telephone, email or text
Childline, call chat or email