We know that COVID 19, also known as the Corona Virus, will have serious impacts on the lives of those living with domestic abuse.  For some people, home is not always a safe place, which might mean that the prospect of physical distancing or self-isolation may be causing some adults and children to feel additionally anxious, at an already difficult time.

If you are living with your abuser and the abuse starts to get worse, more dangerous or harmful, do not take any chances. Here are some tips to staying safe.
If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, call 999.
For further support, guidance and safety planning go to saferfutures.org.uk or call 0300 777 4 777

We are doing everything possible to ensure that specialist support continues to be available to everyone that needs it. Some services are restricted to delivering non-face to face support, due to current health concerns. However, the support is still here for you and your family, refuges are still running, and specialist domestic abuse workers are still working to respond to your needs and help you to stay safe. If you are experiencing domestic abuse you are not alone; even if you are unable to leave your home there are still support services that you can access, via the internet, the phone, text and messenger services

Cornwall’s integrated domestic abuse and sexual violence service, Safer Futures, is still providing support, safety planning and information via their helpline, text service and online. Safer Futures will also direct you to any additional services that you may need and can liaise on your behalf if appropriate to do so, for example if you feel you want to access a refuge at this time.

saferfutures@firstlight.org.uk

0300 777 4777

To make a referral please go to
https://www.firstlight.org.uk/make-a-referral/

Alternatively, you can also access refuge and support via:

Cornwall Refuge Trust:

https://www.cornwallrefugetrust.co.uk/

24 hour Helpline: (01872) 225629

Tel: 01872 225629

The Women’s Centre Cornwall

https://www.womenscentrecornwall.org.uk/

Helpline Tel: 01208 77099

(Monday -Friday 10am-1pm)

 

 

If you feel unsafe and feel that you are in immediate danger, then you should still contact the emergency services via 999; Devon and Cornwall police work very closely with our local domestic abuse and sexual violence services and will ensure you get the follow-on support that you need.

Bright Sky bit.ly/BrightSkyApp  is a free to download mobile app on Android and IOS, providing support and information for anyone impacted by an abusive relationship or for those concerned about someone they know. It can also be used by practitioners and other employers to learn more and provide support.

If you are self-isolating or physically distancing and living with an abusive partner or family member there are a variety of tools you can use to cope emotionally and ensure you are staying safe, There’s lots of useful advice to be found online about ways to help reduce your anxiety and ground yourself, and things to help entertain the children.  In addition, Safer Cornwall will be posting regular videos and information to help you and your family through this difficult time.

We know that those of you with children prioritise their needs over your own and the thought of your children not being in safe place is very unsettling. We want to ensure that you are aware that Provision for children who are vulnerable to remain in school is being made available. Your school may have already identified your child as being eligible to continue to attend, if they have not and you feel that the situation in your home makes them vulnerable, then contact your school to ask if your child can be included. If you need assistance with this, please contact the Safer Futures or Cornwall Refuge Trust helplines above.


A simple conversation can change the life of someone living with domestic abuse or sexual violence

Current circumstances are preventing members of our communities from being able to access support in the same way they would have, before the COVID-19 restrictions came into place.

It is now more important than ever that we come together to provide support and safety to our neighbours, families and friends. If you know someone that is experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence and is living with their abuser, reach out to them.

A phone call, text message or chat over the garden fence could be enough to help your friend, family member or neighbour escape the abuse they are experiencing. You can be their lifeline to vital support and safety, by liaising with services on their behalf and letting them know that they are not dealing with this situation alone.

We have provided some brief guidance and advice on what to look for and how to ask someone if they need help (please see Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence- Routine Enquiry).  You can also go to saferfutures.org.uk or call Safer Futures on 0300 777 4777 for further advice from our specialist domestic abuse and sexual violence service.

Please encourage your local community to check in with their neighbours and do not be afraid to ask the questions: “Are you living in an abusive household? Do you need help?”

We have seen amazing efforts by communities to support the most vulnerable and at risk throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but the vulnerabilities we need to be aware of go far beyond the health risks in relation to COVID-19. We need to be thinking about the families and individuals who are not as safe at home as so many of us are. Help us to eradicate domestic abuse and sexual violence; start the conversation and change someone’s life.

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, please call the police on 999 now.

 

 

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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: