COVID-19 and domestic abuse: You are not alone
Government guidance on help and support
Measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus have seen people’s day-to-day lives drastically altered. The government acknowledges that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse.
The household isolation instruction does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services. You are not alone.
Where to get help
If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please see this guidance on services you can access.
If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.Call 999
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police – the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.
If you can not talk
If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Then follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.
If you call from a mobile
If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard – this will transfer your call to the police.
Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.
If you call 999 from a landline
If only background noise can be heard and BT operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.
If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.
When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.
This government guidance gives you links to many kinds of specialist support. You are not alone.
Published: 24 April 2020