Coronavirus: Councils call on residents to show solidarity with those affected by domestic abuse
News in conjunction with our partners Telford & Wrekin Council
Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council are joining the Government in a public awareness-raising campaign to highlight that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse, help is still available.
The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time.
Isolation may be used as a tool of coercive and controlling behaviour by perpetrators, as they attempt to shut down victim’s routes to safety and support. As part of the campaign the public are being encouraged to show their solidarity and support for those who may be suffering.
This can be done sharing a photo of a heart on their palm, and asking others to do the same, to show victims that they are not alone, and to convey to perpetrators that domestic abuse is unacceptable in any circumstances.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said:
“We are absolutely committed to ensure that those who are victims of domestic abuse have the help and support available to them.
“Whilst it can be challenging for all of us during these times, staying at home can pose extra difficulties and risk for those who are living with domestic abuse.
“Staying indoors is even harder for people whose home is not the haven it should be. Enforced isolation may increase abusive behavior and it reduces the victim’s ability to access help and support.
“Please, if you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, please contact us. We are here to help.”
Councillor Rae Evans, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet lead for the prevention of domestic abuse, said:
“During the coronavirus outbreak Telford and Wrekin has shown itself to be a caring and compassionate place.
“Now we are asking residents of the area to show solidarity with victims of domestic abuse to share the heart on the palm symbol on social media or in the windows of your home.
“Telford has been a White Ribbon town since 2011, an accreditation that is only given to organisations that show commitment to protecting and caring for victims of domestic abuse.
“Now is the time to show those affected by domestic abuse they are not on their own.”
Local support in Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin, is available through the Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service: call 0300 303 1191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Mercia Women’s Aid runs a 24-hour Domestic Abuse Helpline and a live chat service for those who need to talk ‘silently.’ Call: 0800 783 1359 or visit http://www.westmerciawomensaid.org/
Shropshire Safeguarding Partnership has put together some contact numbers and resources for people living with, or worried about, domestic abuse at this difficult time.
The useful phone numbers and contacts are:
Shropshire Council First Point of Contact (FPOC)
- Adult social care and safeguarding concerns – 0345 678 9044
- Safeguarding children: access to Compass, children’s social care Front Door and targeted early help – 0345 678 9021
- Housing – 0345 678 9005
Telford and Wrekin Family Connect – 01952 385385 (Family front door, including child protection referrals)
Out of hours Emergency Duty Teams:
- Shropshire Council – 0345 678 9040
- Telford & Wrekin Council – 01952 676500
- Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) – 0300 303 1191
- Shropshire Domestic Abuse Helpline (24 hours) – 0800 7831 359
- Safe Lives – http://safelives.org.uk The UK-wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for everyone and for good.
- Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327
- Respect helpline – 0808 802 4040 (for anyone worried that they may be harming someone else)
- Galop – 0800 999 5428 (national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse)
- Forced Marriage Unit – 0207 008 015
If you suspect that an abuser is monitoring your Internet usage, find out how to hide your browser history at https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000510.htm