The coronavirus outbreak presents a new challenge for people living through domestic abuse, but support is always available in Havering.
Victims and survivors who are following government orders to stay at home may feel that they are not able to access support or escape abuse at times they otherwise would.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help available from various support services. Most have reduced face-to-face meetings but continue to offer support online and over the phone.
If you are being abused or are at risk of being abused, please get in touch with one of the below services. If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, please report it to the police.
Councillor Viddy Persaud, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety, said:
“For victims of domestic abuse, the current coronavirus crisis can be an especially worrying time. We want to make it clear that domestic abuse will never be tolerated, no matter how unusual and difficult these times are.
“I urge anyone who is in an abusive situation at home to please come forward and speak out by contacting one of the support services.”
Getting help from the police
Police support continues as normal. If you are in immediate danger, call 999. To report any non-emergency incidents please use 101.
If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and press 55. This will transfer you to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.
Getting help from domestic abuse services
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
The National Domestic Abuse website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. They can also be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The website also has a form through which women can book a safe time for a call from the team. You can also call this number if you need to seek emergency refuge.
Where telephone support is not possible or safe for victims, Women’s Aid has provided an online service specifically designed for the current COVID-19 outbreak, including a live chat service.
Men’s Advice Line
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. It can be contacted on 0808 801 0327.
Galop – for members of the LGBT+ community
If you are a member of the LGBT+ community, Galop runs a specialist helpline on 0800 999 5428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzy Lamplugh Trust – National Stalking Helpline –
The National Stalking Helpline 0800 802 0300 offers information and guidance to anybody in the UK who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking.
Hestia’s Bright Sky App
Bright Sky is a free app providing support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship. It has a secure journal tool to record behaviour via text, audio, video or photo, without the content being stored on your phone/tablet.
Getting help from local domestic abuse services
Havering Women’s Aid – 01708 728759
Havering Women’s Aid are an organisation based in Havering that offer floating support to women affected by domestic abuse and violence. Support is available to people aged 16 plus who are residents of Havering.
MENDAS – 01708 397974
Men’sDomestic Abuse Service (MENDAS) are based in Havering and offer support to male victims of domestic abuse and violence. They assist by providing emotional and practical help, advice and information, advocacy support, help to access specialist support, and one-to-one counselling.