We wish for everyone to enjoy lots of fun and laughter with family and friends. However, we know that for some, this may be a period of worry and concern.
Domestic Abuse is likely to increase as families and couples spend more time together at home. The government has advised that we all work from home where possible and any additional COVID safety measures could push many further into isolation from the outside world. So many are likely to be left more vulnerable than they have ever been.
If you are worried about the risk of Domestic Abuse for you or someone you love over the holiday period, this guide has been created to help you. You are not alone, we are here.
You are not alone
We support women and children who are subjected to all forms of Domestic Abuse and this can include sexual abuse, stalking and harassment, coercive control, tech abuse as well as other harmful practices like female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based violence, human trafficking and modern slavery.
There are a few guides available which you can access by clicking below:
Safety Planning Guide
Information to consider if you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship.
Health & Wellbeing Guide
Information to improve your mental health if you are feeling worried and anxious.
Domestic Abuse Guide
Information to help you recognise abuse if you are unsure about what it is.
Contacting The Haven
If you need to leave:
Do you have time to plan or is it safer to leave now? If you feel your safety is at risk and you need to leave now, please CALL 999.
If you decide to leave your abuser contact specialist support if it is safe to do so. Leaving an abusive partner can be dangerous. You can call our Helpline 24 hours a day.
We can support you to understand your options and make a plan.
I’m leaving now:
If you have someone you can trust you may want to let them know you plan to leave.
Make sure it is someone you are sure you can rely on not to disclose any information to the perpetrator.
This may be a work colleague or work Manager if you have spoken to them.
Consider arranging a code word or sign which will alert them to call the Police. If you trust your neighbour – ask them to call the Police if they hear any strange noises or disturbance.
I’m planning to leave later:
If it is safe to do so pack a bag in advance – hide it in a safe place or leave it with someone you can trust such as a neighbour, friend, or family member. This way, if you need to leave in a hurry you will still have your essentials.
See the next section for a suggested packing checklist. Please be mindful that this list should only be used when you have the time to plan, and if it is safe for you to do so.
If you are unable to access original documents, or you think your partner may notice that the documents are missing, you could take pictures of the originals and email them to yourself or someone you trust. Alternatively, note down the relevant reference numbers.
- Change of clean clothes & toiletries
- Details of benefits & other important documents (NI Number, Driving License)
- Pay slips, Debit Cards, Credit Cards
- Emergency contact numbers: GP, Social worker, children’s school, your solicitor, your office
- Details of any bills that are in your name
- Documentation relating to the ownership of your home, mortgage or tenancy.
To avoid any suspicion, we suggest gathering items over an extended period.
Remember to leave your bag in a place where your partner is not likely to look for it.
Karma Nirvana (Forced Marriage & so-called ‘Honour’ Based Abuse): 0800 5999 247 | karmanirvana.org.uk
Galop (National LGBT+): 0800 999 5428 | galop.org.uk
The Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 | mensadviceline.org.uk
Survivors UK (Male Rape & Sexual Abuse): 0203 598 3898 | survivorsuk.org
Rape Crisis England and Wales: 0808 802 9999 | rapecrisis.org.uk
National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300 | stalkinghelpline.org
Respect Helpline for Perpetrators: 0808 802 4040 | respectphoneline.org.uk
Emergency? Call 999
CALL 999 if you feel your safety is at risk – always keep your phone charged and near you.
It might also be helpful to identify your nearest public telephone should you need to use it in an emergency.
If you are unable to speak, you can still call emergency services using the Silent Solution System. See next section.
Silent Solution System
If you feel your safety is at risk please CALL 999.
Silently listen to the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset.
When prompted, PRESS 55 to let the operator know that it is a genuine call and you will be put through to the police who will then take over the call. Listen carefully and respond as best as you can.
Do not feel alone. We are here to help. If you find yourself needing support this Christmas, please remember that you are not alone and do not hesitate to call for help. Please reach out when it is safe to do so.
From all of us at The Haven, we would like to wish you a SAFE and Merry Christmas. May the New Year be a good one for all of us.