Weekend read: Domestic abuse – we are here for you
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While the country is practicing social distancing by staying at home within their family units, being at home isn’t a haven for some people.
For victims of domestic abuse, being in the house with their partner for days on end is a very daunting prospect, leaving them concerned for their safety.
During this time of uncertainly and instability, the force will be responding to calls to service for domestic abuse incidents as usual, aware of the extra risk to those who are already vulnerable.
And it might be that being cooped up, with extra worries and pressure – health concerns, financial worries, the threat of a job loss and concerns over child access – means more people are finding themselves as victims of domestic abuse for the first time.
Know this: we are here for you.
Detective Chief Inspector Lucy Batchelor, the force lead for domestic abuse, said: “With the current situation, we are acutely aware of the risks of being in the same house as an abuser for long amounts of time.
“Our advice remains the same: call us, always using 999 in an emergency.
An officer will attend and assess the situation – gathering evidence, identifying the offence and arresting a suspected perpetrator.
Victims are often controlled by their abuser, and support is available throughout the investigation process.
Officers will complete a risk assessment with victims and will discuss how to safeguard you and your family with you.
Referrals can be made and information given about the different organisations there to help victims of abuse – UAVA, a Leicestershire-based service with a helpline is just one.
DCI Batchelor added: “These are unprecedented times; never have we seen such measures from the Government around staying at home.
“While it is of course necessary to fight the spread of coronavirus, it of course puts some people in a very vulnerable positon.
“We are here to help, always call 999 in an emergency. There are ways we can help without you having to speak – using the Silent Solution and a 55 silent call.
“For help and support, the UAVA helpline is invaluable, with people on the end of the phone to offer advice and help during this uncertain time.”
UAVA helpline – 0808 802 0028, open Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm