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Safety steps you can take
We know that being isolated at home under stressful circumstances can increase the risk of violence and abuse for victims of domestic abuse.
You can take some safety steps now so you are prepared for a situation, if it should arise at home.
- If it is an emergency and are at risk of harm – call the police on 999. If you are unable or too afraid to speak, you can use the Silent Solution system by pressing 55 when prompted by the call handler. Read more about this system and how to use it here.
- Think about safe spaces at home where you can take refuge. Try to avoid anywhere such as the kitchen or garage where there may be items which could be used against you. Is there a room where you can quickly and easily exit from, or a garden space you can take refuge in?
- Keep a mobile phone charged and at hand, so you can summon help quickly.
- Agree a time with a friend or neighbour that you will contact them each day, so you can keep in touch with someone and let them know you are ok.
- Agree a code word that you can text or use in a call with a friend or neighbour to raise an alarm so they can call the police for you.
- Speak to your children about where they can go to keep safe. Explain that they need to get to safety first and then raise the alarm. Getting involved in the situation may put them at risk of harm.
- Form an escape plan from the house and consider deciding a trigger word with your children that you can use to indicate to them when it’s time to leave the house. If you do need to leave the house and you are approached by the police, explain to them why you had to leave so they can help and safeguard you.
- If you can, keep bank cards or some cash and house or car keys in a safe and accessible place, in case you need to grab them in a rush.
- If you cannot leave – try to get to a room with a lock and call the police immediately.
While it may be difficult to access face-to-face help during this period of isolation and social distancing, help and support is still available online and on the phone. Click here to access a full list of support available from our local partners and national charities and agencies.