What to do if you’re living with an abusive partner during social distancing
During this time of social distancing, it’s vital to consider your safety and security – particularly if you will be in the same vicinity as someone who may harm you or make you feel unsafe for a long period of time.
We understand how fearful and alone domestic abuse can make you feel. However, we’re here to help and support you, whenever you need it – you can still access support during social distancing, by email or phone.
Alternatively, we’ve gathered some expert advice below on how to stay safe or reach out at this time. Only you know what you need to keep yourself safe: you know what you are going through and the severity of the situation, so only take the advice you feel would benefit you personally.
It’s currently unclear how long social distancing measures will last but the law is clear: if you are in fear of your safety, you can leave you home at any time.
Help from those close to you
If you’re able to, call someone you can trust to about what you’re going through. Set-up a codeword or emoji you can quickly send to them to let them know to call the police if you’re in danger.
Is there someone you could set up a call with for certain times of the week, so they know you’re ok? They can then raise the alarm if one of your calls is missed.
Consider speaking to a friend or family member you could temporarily move-in with to help keep you safe.
Help from others
If there are no online shopping slots available, use this as a reason to leave the house, where you can speak to someone about what’s happening to you.
If you can’t leave home, can you go to a room with a door you can lock to dial 999? If you can’t talk, dial 55 and the operator will put you through to the police.
If you’re in immediate danger, always dial 999 and ask for the police.
If there isn’t an immediate danger and you would like help and support, contact Voice – we can help you both emotionally and practically.
Alternative support services include:
- England’s Freephone 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 247 2000
- LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 / email@example.com
- Karma Nirvana, UK Helpline for ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage: 0800 5999 247
- Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their behaviour): 0808 802 0321
If you’re unable to call anyone, you can access information online for help on looking after yourself during social distancing.
- SafeLives – a guide to staying safe online
- Women’s Aid – A guide to private browsing
- Women’s Aid – Making a safety plan
- Women’s Aid – The Survivor’s Handbook
- Refuge – A guide to technology safety
- Surviving Economic Abuse – Coronavirus specific support
- Karma Nirvana – Staying safe online
- Chayn – multiple resources
Don’t suffer in silence
Reaching out to someone is one of the most important things you can do when you’re suffering from domestic abuse – whether it’s the police, Voice, another service, or a friend, there are plenty of people who can help you.
If you’re unsure of where to turn, speak to us – its free, confidential and you don’t have to have reported a crime.