PCC reassures domestic abuse victims they are not alone

Suffolk’s PCC has joined the Constabulary in reassuring victims and survivors of domestic abuse that they are not alone during this challenging time as the country tackles coronavirus.
The force is acutely aware that the coronavirus will have a serious impact on women, children and men who already face domestic abuse in their homes. Limited contact with the outside world may cause tensions at home leading to an increase in domestic abuse.
Fears over jobs, financial pressure, school closures, working from home and all the other current changes to our day to day lives are likely to result in an increase in domestic abuse.

Detective Chief Supt Eamonn Bridger said: “Let me be really clear to anyone concerned – domestic abuse is considered a serious crime and we are is committed to the safety of victims and children during this time of crisis. We want you to seek and receive appropriate support when you need it.
“We do not want you to suffer in silence. The current situation of self-isolation can make the home even more like a prison with an abuser.

“It may also be used as a means to exert further control. Due to the need to self-isolate, you may not be able to see the friends and family who usually support you.

“We want to stress that any form of abuse is a crime and we will deal robustly with perpetrators.

“Whilst it is too early to identify a significant increase in domestic abuse we know that it is a crime that occurs behind closed doors and other countries have seen a rise in abuse during their own Coronavirus responses.

“We will monitor the situation closely and be as proactive with contacting potential victims as we can. We urge anybody who is currently experiencing domestic abuse to make contact in any way that is safe and works for them.

“We understand that the current situation can lead to heightened stress levels. You may find that you need to check your behaviour or seek support during these uncertain times to prevent yourself from being abusive, or even violent towards your partner.

“The Respect phoneline is also available for people who want to stop being violent and abusive and are concerned about their behaviour and want help to manage and change it.”

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner reassured victims of domestic abuse that vital support services will continue to be available throughout the Coronavirus emergency.  He said: “This pandemic is impacting on every single one of us in one way or another but I am sadly very aware that victims of domestic abuse are also facing the additional trauma of having to spend time at home with abusive partners with no chance of getting out to see friends and family for support.

“Regardless of the situation we are in, I want to reassure victims that the services I commission continue to work tirelessly to support you. Help is still available – online or on the phone – so I continue to encourage victims to seek help.
“Supporting victims and protecting the vulnerable is absolutely key in my role as Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner and I will play my part by continuing to support services to provide urgent aid to those that need it. I will also make sure that Suffolk Constabulary has the resources it needs to tackle this crime and protect those at risk.
“Please remember you are not alone, help is available, please reach out if you need help. In an emergency call 999 and use the silent solution if you need to – just add 55.”
Some charities and organisations will be offering support over the telephone or online, please see the list below if you need to contact someone for support or advice.
If you are in immediate danger you should still call 999. Police 101 is the non-emergency number.

Silent Solution
The Silent Solution system helps filter out accidental or hoax 999 calls from those who need genuine police assistance.
If speaking or making an immediate sound would put you in danger and you need immediate help, call 999 and stay on the line, then press 55 when prompted and the call will be transferred to the police, who will know it is an emergency call.

Women’s Aid national domestic abuse helpline – 0808 2000 247

Domestic Abuse Outreach Service – 0800 977 5690

National Centre for Domestic Violence – 0844 8044 999

Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327

Broken Rainbow – 0300 999 5428

Respect – 0808 802 4040

Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid Centre: 01284 753085

The Ferns – 0300 123 5058

Alumah – 07770 468698

Compassion – 07597 337831

Waveney Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum – 01502 572143 or 07906 245979

Leeway Domestic Violence and Abuse Services – 0300 561 0077

P.H.O.E.B.E. Centre – 01473 231566

Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care – 0300 303 3706 / Email: nsvictimcare@victimsupport.org.uk

Anglia Care Trust Freephone advice line for victims – 0800 9775690

If you’re a child or young person and domestic abuse is happening in your home or relationship, then call Childline on 0800 1111.