Monday 13th July 2020
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Domestic abuse resources page

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If you're in immediate danger

If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - they will continue to respond to emergency calls.

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Recent measures announced to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the order to stay at home, can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under.

For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you.

Support for victims in Luton

Please note: some of these organisations are running reduced/modified services, please call or check their social media pages to confirm.

Stalking risks during coronavirus

Calls to the National Stalking Helpline indicate that stalkers will not stop stalking whilst in lockdown. Their behaviour is driven by fixation and obsession and is unlikely to stop just because they are not permitted to leave their house freely.

We also know that in normal circumstances restrictions on stalkers movements have very little impact (for example the ongoing breaching of restraining orders) and they continue to stalk.

If you're concerned that you or someone you know is being stalked, take a look at this guide, prepared by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust providing lots of information and support on stalking.

Sexual abuse

Sexual violence includes any form of sexual activity (involving physical contact, words, or photographs) that takes place without the other person’s full and informed consent.
 
Sexual abuse support/helplines:
Local:
National:
Sexual violence support for LGBT+
Galop provides a free, confidential and independent service for all LGBT+ individuals who have experienced sexual assault, violence or abuse, however or whenever it happened.
 
Contact the sexual violence support service on:

Economic abuse

Economic abuse often occurs alongside other forms of abuse and is commonly part of a pattern of behaviour through which abusers seek to control their victims.
 
Coercing a partner into debt is a common tactic that perpetrators of economic abuse use. They seek to create instability, and make it difficult for you to leave and rebuild your life.
 
An abuser may have:
  • forced to take out credit
  • used credit in your name
  • made you use your credit against your wishes
This may have left you with debts you can’t repay. There are a number of solutions to coerced debt that you can explore with a qualified debt adviser. These include explaining the circumstances to the lender and asking them to write off the debt.
 
This is not a guaranteed solution, and it is important to speak to an adviser about all your options and the best option for you.
 
Take a look at Surviving Economic Abuse's guidance on asking a lender for a debt write-off.

Staying safe during coronavirus

To support you during Covid-19, Rockpool have created a series of factsheets designed to offer some support and strategies, whatever your situation. They're based on what they know about people’s responses to traumatic events and what can help. Download their factsgeets below.
  1. Being safe
  2. Keeping connected
  3. Understanding resilience
  4. A nurturing environment
  5. Understanding Emotions and Healthy Relationships
 
A safe space for people experiencing domestic abuse during Covid-19
UK says no more has teamed up with Boots UK to launch safe spaces in their pharmacies across the UK.

Victims of domestic abuse will be able to access the consultation rooms in Boots UK pharmacies, where they will be able to contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.
Free rail travel for domestic abuse victims
Victims of domestic abuse can contact the charity Women's Aid, or a domestic abuse helpline or local outreach service and the train ticket will be obtained on the woman's behalf.

Housing

If you're supporting a resident who is suffering from domestic abuse and needs help and support for their own accommodation, here are the key contacts who can provide help and advice.
 
For Luton Council residents - Luton Council Housing Needs, 01582 510371
 
Alternatively, you can contact:

Support for children and young people

Advice for parents on keeping children safe online
Childnet International's - Parents and Carers Toolkit, provides three resources that offer practical tips and advice on different aspects of keeping your child safe online. They can help support parents and carers of any age child to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support.
 
Substance misuse in young people
Aquarius offers support to anyone under 18 in Bedfordshire who is affected by substance misuse.
Advice for families on effective co-parenting and child arrangements
Government guidance for parents do not live in the same household, clarifies that children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes. There is additional advice provided on compliance with family court child arrangement orders.
 
Coronavirus and child contact arrangements
Many families will have to make changes to child contact arrangements that were in place, but how significant those changes are will depend on the circumstances of the individual family. Rights of Women have set out what they believe to be the most sensible approach in the current climate.
 
TOKKO Centre supports young people aged 13 to 19 (up to 24 with disabilities) across the town and locally to:
  • advance in life
  • feel safe
  • bring a reality to their imaginative ideas

To contact Tokko:

The Hideout - an online space to help children and young people understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if they are experiencing it.
 
Childline – helpline for children until 18 0800 1111. Advice for young people on domestic abuse and healthy and unhealthy relationships, as well as lots of other information and a safe place to talk via phone, email or online.
 
 
Advice for children and young people on coronavirus
The Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) has published a new COVID-19 information booklet for children and young people which is packed full of great advice.
 
FJYPB members also give their thoughts on how COVID-19 is affecting them and the booklet includes ‘top tips’ for:
  • keeping in touch with family and friends
  • how to make the best of being at home
  • what to do if feeling unsafe or unwell
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers
The NSPCC has created an online hub providing advice and support for parents and carers during the coronavirus outbreak. The content includes information on keeping children safe from abuse; tips and advice for parents working from home and ways to talk to a child who is anxious about the coronavirus.
 
Understanding teenagers
Home-Start, commissioned by Central Bedfordshire Council, have produced the Understanding The Teenage Brain video for South Bedfordshire parents as they're unable to deliver sessions physically during lockdown.
 
Concerns about a child?
If, during the course of your duties you have concerns for a child, the Access and Referral Hub is available to support and provide advice or guidance. They can be contacted on:

Support for perpetrators

Many families and relationships will feel increased pressure, and for those living with domestic abuse this could cause serious harm.
 
Even in times of crisis, perpetrators are still responsible for their behaviours and abuse and the focus of responsibility must stay on the perpetrator.
 
The Respect Phoneline is a key source of support for people concerned about their behaviour and wanting to manage and change it.
This is a useful resource for men in crisis situations where the risk of losing control and becoming violent is increased.

Other resources

 

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