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Police promote support available for those in isolation with an abusive partner

We are all living in uncertain times at the moment, not really knowing what to expect from one day to the other. But for some in our communities, living with uncertainty is a daily occurrence.

For victims of domestic abuse, home is not a safe haven – it’s a place of fear. For them, entering into an extended period of isolation at home will not only be difficult, but also terrifying.

Being in close proximity with your abuser, under stressful circumstances, can increase the risk of violence and abuse posed to victims. Very sadly, as reported in the national press, as cities around the world entered into lock down scenarios to prevent the spread of the COVID19 virus, these locations have seen reports of domestic abuse increase and we anticipate the same nationally.

In a bid to reach out to victims and let them know they are not alone; North Yorkshire Police have launched a resource page on their website, which provides details of telephone and online support services which are available around the clock.

Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, lead for Safeguarding said:

“We are all currently experiencing a situation of uncertainty and worry at the moment, which has left many of us feeling like we have very little control over our lives. However, it gives us a small insight into how a victim of domestic abuse feels every minute of every hour of every day.

“I want anyone affected by domestic abuse to be certain of one thing – if, during this period of isolation and distancing, you should need to call North Yorkshire Police because you are at immediate risk of harm – dial 999 and we will be there to help you.

“If you are in an emergency situation and have to dial 999, but you are too scared or cannot speak, you can use the ‘Silent Solution’ system by pressing 55 when prompted by the BT call handler. Please listen to the direction given by the call handler, as they will need to assess the call to determine whether it is a genuine 999 call being made. You may be asked to cough or tap the handset to indicate you are there and then press 55 when prompted. Your call will then be transferred to police.

“If you want to report your concerns to us, but it is not an emergency situation – please contact us via 101.

“We are here to respond to your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but we realise that not everyone wants to speak to the police. That’s why we have pulled together a list of online and telephone services, offered by our partner agencies and national charities aimed at domestic abuse victims who are isolating at home, so they can continue to access vital support and advice during these unprecedented times. Click here to access the list of services.

“The most important thing is to reach out and make contact with someone, get some advice and to not suffer in silence.”

More information about the Silent Solution system is available on the North Yorkshire Police website here.

And for advice on the steps you can take, to help you stay safe at home, click here.