By Chris York
Priti Patel has launched a public awareness campaign aimed to ensure those at risk of domestic abuse during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown know where to turn to for help.
Announcing the initiative on Saturday, the home secretary revealed talks are ongoing to provide charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner with an additional £2 million to bolster helplines and online support.
Patel said that people who are suffering domestic abuse during the lockdown will still be able to get support from the police.
Priti Patel said: “For the victims of these crimes, home is not the safe haven that it should be and that is why I have been working with law enforcement, charities, schools, businesses and local councils to address this changing threat picture.
“I want to emphasise that anybody who is a victim of these crimes can still get help. Anyone in immediate danger should call 999 and press 55 on a mobile if you are unable to talk.
“Our outstanding police will still be there for you.”
The campaign will publicise the support available, including the freephone, 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge, and nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
From next week, adverts raising awareness of where people can seek help will run across social media and materials will be made available, including to charities and supermarkets.
Tools such as online support services, including a messaging service with domestic abuse experts, will help those most at risk seek support and guidance during periods when it might be difficult for them to talk on the phone.
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: “What is needed now, more than ever, is to ensure every woman experiencing domestic abuse is aware of the confidential support available.
“We hope the Government’s campaign will reach the tens of thousands of people experiencing domestic abuse, helping send the message – you are not alone.”
During. the same briefing, chairman of the
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If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are not in immediate danger, you can contact:
- The Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership by Women’s Aid and Refuge): 0808 2000 247
- In Scotland, contact Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234
- In Northern Ireland, contact the 24 hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414
- In Wales, contact the 24 hour Life Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
- Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321