Police launch campaign to remind domestic abuse victims ‘You are not alone’
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Avon and Somerset Police is urging anyone who is suffering from domestic abuse, or is concerned someone they know could be a victim, to ask for help.
The force is supporting the national You Are Not Alone campaign which aims to remind people there is still help and support available, including access to refuges, for victims and survivors of domestic abuse despite the current Covid-19 outbreak restrictions.
Domestic abuse can involve physical violence, or psychological abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviour.
Avon and Somerset police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Under the lockdown restrictions, those in abusive relationships are confined to their homes and even more isolated from loved ones.
“It’s more important than ever we are reassuring victims the police, and support services are still here to help – being at home shouldn’t mean being at risk.”
Carol Metters, chief executive at Next Link added: “Victims need us now more than ever in these extraordinary times.
“We know victims physically can’t reach out for services and are isolated in their homes or quarantined with their abusive partner.
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“We need to get the message out they are not alone and the police and specialist domestic abuse services are working in partnership to ensure they are safe and given the help they need.”
Natalie Giles, team manager at Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service, said: “We’re very much open for business at the moment, but we’re concerned calls to our helpline and referrals have reduced. We can offer you advice and support – no concern is too trivial.
“We need to reassure people the services are there to help, we’re there to offer advice when you need it.
“If you are concerned for your safety, or worried about someone you know then please let us know.
“You can report on 101 or online, in an emergency always call 999. If it’s not safe to speak, dial 55 and the operator will put you straight through to the police.”
Those in need of help or support can contact the following services:
National advice and support:
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Mankind: 01823 334244
In North Somerset, contact Next Link on 0800 4700 280 (10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday)
You can also access a live chat service at: www.nextlinkhousing.co.uk (10-4pm, Monday to Friday)
In Somerset: Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service:
Call 08006 949999 (8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am–1pm on a Saturday and Sunday)
Or via email to email@example.com