What to do if you’re being abused during the lockdown

What to do if you’re being abused during lockdown

  • If you are in an emergency situation, please ring: 999
  • If you believe you are being abused, you can ring the Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • If you want to speak to other people in the same situation join our peer to peer support group Soul Sisters: Empowering People.

Lockdown has been hard on everyone, but if you’re being abused in your home while you’re being urged to stay inside, it can be really challenging.

If you or your family are in danger right now it’s crucial that you get help now.

Contact the police if you can, if you can’t leave the house go to the safest place you can and stay away from dangerous objects such as tools and knives.

In an emergency, you can call 999, stay on the phone, cough and press 555, the police will know that this is a domestic abuse case. You need to stay on the phone so they can find the location.

The situation escalating

If you are worried about the situation escalating, try to plan how you can escape safely.

Make sure you have a safe place to go, this could be a domestic abuse refuge or a home of a trusted family member or friend.

If you think you need to go into refuge you can contact the Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247) when it is safe for you to do this.

If you have a friend, co-worker, neighbour or family member you can trust – put a code in place. An example of a code could be a word, a phrase or an emoji that you text them for if you need them to help you escape.

Keep your phone charged at all times.

Keep a list in your head of items you may need to take with you, such as:

Your driving licence
Your passport
Essential items such as clothes and money
Your marriage certificate (if applicable)
Benefit letters (if applicable)
Tenant agreements

If you know you are going to escape it may be best to collect the above items earlier and leave them at a trusted person’s house.

If you have children, you can keep some of their clothes and toys at said person’s house.

How to report domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a crime and should be reported to the police.

If you don’t want to report it to the police, there are services that we can signpost you to in your local area. Contact us on our contact form on the website for more information.

You can contact your local neighbourhood policing team by finding their number online.

You can contact the police anonymously if it’s a friend/ neighbour in danger.

Police take domestic abuse claims seriously and will be able to help you.

If you need advice or someone to talk to about your options, please join our group Soul Sisters: Empowering People.

Staying safe while looking for resources

Top tips for staying safe from your abuser if you live in close proximity with them while you’re looking for resources on domestic abuse.

1) Clear recent history after searching for help
2) Have a separate tab open that you can quickly jump onto if they come into the room, we recommend the google home page or an online newspaper
3) Search in a safe place

Deleting internet history:

If you are on this website on a device that your abuser may find and don’t want them to see that you are on the road to getting help you should delete your internet history.

You can do this by going to the history tab of your search engine, depending on the search engine the process can be different but if you click ‘show all history’ or ‘view history’, it will take you to a list of your browsing history. Once you are there click ‘clear browsing data’ or ‘clear browsing history’ depending on your search engine.

You could clear all data from the past hour rather than all data all together to make it look less suspicious.