Keeping you and your family safe
Tips for coping during the Coronavirus outbreak
We are aware that social distancing and self-isolation will put extra pressure on families which could cause an increase in risk. In this situation, many people will feel as if they are losing control, and search for healthy ways to cope with this. However, when an abuser feels powerless, it can put their victim at an increased risk of harm.
Firstly, your immediate safety is STILL the priority, regardless of the current situation. If you need to get out of the house to protect yourself or your children, please do so.
This said, Splitz have put together some specific tips for keeping safe in this current period:
- Think ahead: can you identify a “safe place” you could go to if you need to leave your home? This might be a friend or family member. Ideally avoid someone considered to be ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ from Covid-19.
- Teach your children how to call 999 in an emergency.
- Make sure children have another safe adult they can contact if they are worried: ensure numbers are stored in their mobile phone, or kept near a landline, or provide them access to your mobile.
- Discuss with your child if there are neighbours that they would feel safe to go to if they needed help. Ideally this should not be a neighbour who would be considered to be ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ from Covid-19.
- Keep mobile phones charged.
- Make sure children have a safe space to take themselves to if there is an altercation taking place: talk with them ahead of time about identifying this.
- Where possible, discourage children and young people from intervening if there is an incident taking place.
- As with any time where stress and tension levels are rising, remove yourself from the situation if possible. Try to avoid a situation escalating by taking breaks and going outside.
- Maintain contact with your support network – both professional and personal. Having contact with people, will help both you and your whole family.
- Give consideration to safe ways of maintaining contact with professionals if needed – might your contact be by phone or email? Might it need to be at a different time than usual? Splitz staff will do their best to accommodate whatever works best for you.
- Familiarise yourself with safety planning advice for domestic abuse in general – this will help you in this situation also. Please see our website and safety planning advice for more information.
- Splitz also have toolkits available for working with children and young people on self-esteem, keeping safe and building resilience. As well as toolkits covering housing, self-care and economic resilience.
If you have concerns:
If you are noticing an increase in the risk to you or your children or have any concerns please seek help and advice as soon as possible.
In an emergency, call 999.
For local support, in a non-emergency situation:
- Call the Splitz help desk on 0345 155 1074 (Devon) or 01225 775276 (Wiltshire) for support and advice.
- Call MASH for child safety concerns 0345 155 1071 (Devon) or 0300 456 0108 (Wiltshire).
Further information and support services
- The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is run by Refuge and can be contacted on 0808 247 2000. This is a Freephone number and a 24 hour service. You can also visit their website: nationaldahelpline.org.uk
- The National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse helpline can be contacted on 0800 80 10 800.
- Male victims of domestic abuse, may wish to contact the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.
- Women’s Aid are offering an instant messaging service online: womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
- Anyone worried about their own behaviour, may wish to consider calling the Respect Helpline, who will offer confidential advice and support: 0808 802 0321.
- Barnado’s provide advice supporting children experiencing domestic abuse: https://www.barnardos.ie/assets/images/publications/Domestic%20child%201.jpg
- Information on Coronavirus (Covid-19) can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response