Current guidance will mean some people are trapped with a violent perpetrator in self-isolation or partial lockdown and it’s even more vital to ensure those in need know what support is available.
I spoke with the domestic abuse lead for ‘Look Ahead' and to Kent Police about the action they are taking. I want to emphasise to everyone in Sevenoaks and Swanley that all services are still up and running - police are continuing to follow up on cases and reports, and there are spaces available across the constituency for refuge in safe accommodation.
Please remember that domestic abuse isn’t always physical – it's a pattern of controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour, which can also be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual.
If you, or you know of anyone in need of support, please do not suffer in silence.
What help is available?
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999, and then press 55
For non-emergency support and safety planning in West Kent call the Look Ahead helpline on 0800 917 9948. If getting to a phone is difficult email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
There are also national organisations that can help. The National Helpline (Freephone 0808 2000 247) operates 24/7, with confidential, non-judgmental support available from teams of trained advisers. The Helpline also has an online contact form (www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk), where victims can request a safe time to be called and the website includes additional support resources available for survivors, friends and family
Men and the LGBT community can also be victims and support for these groups can be found via www.gov.uk/report-domestic-abuse