When Home Is Not Your Haven

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As we find our way through this pandemic let us take a moment to consider those for whom being at home does not offer safety, but the living hell of domestic violence. The experience of being in enforced isolation with an abuser, at this time, when we are experiencing the increased stress of the impact of the corona virus is a very serious concern. We need to ensure that this does not lead to the increase of domestic emotional and or physical abuse of women and children.

Domestic abuse is NOT acceptable and can happen to anyone. The definition of domestic abuse is defined by Women’s Aid as, “An incident or patterns of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex partner, but also by a family member of carer. It is sadly very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.”

The Deluth Project is a programme developed to reduce domestic violence and their wheel a useful tool to use when considering whether you or your clients are in an abusive relationship.

During the next few months access to services will, without doubt, be made far more difficult. It will be much more challenging to make a call or ask for help whilst being at home with the abuser. It is vital to know that support and help is available. Domestic abuse services provide a wide range of information and support including refuge accommodation, helplines, outreach support, floating support, resettlement support, specialist children and young people services, domestic abuse prevention advocates and drop-in support. The National Domestic Abuse helpline https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk and Women’s Aid https://www.womensaid.org.uk offers a live chat support service, which provides online support. If you or a friend need help call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. If you are in immediate danger call 999 as you would ordinarily as the police are there to protect you.

“Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety”

William Shakespeare


The NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/ has a useful questionnaire that goes through the different kinds of abuse, which is worth looking at.

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