Domestic abuse support open during coronavirus lockdown

The services are free and confidential

The services are free and confidential - Credit: Archant

Domestic abuse and sexual violence support services are open and able to provide advice and information as usual during the coronavirus lockdown.

The services are free, confidential and independent and can be accessed regardless of whether or not anyone wants to report a crime to the police.

Calls to the police on 999 or 101 to report incidents of domestic abuse are always taken seriously and will be acted on accordingly.

Cllr Christine Carter, Torbay Council's Cabinet member for community services, said: 'Recent measures announced to tackle coronavirus, such as staying at home, can cause anxiety and other mental health challenges for those who have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence, and worsen the suffering of those who are currently experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

'If you feel this is happening to you, or someone you know, I ask that you get in contact with the relevant services as soon as possible. They are there to help and can provide a range of support from giving advice to helping someone with the arrangements to leave their current situation, including contacting the council's housing options team to arrange emergency temporary accommodation if necessary.'

To access local and national services:

• 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, iIf 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

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• Torbay Domestic Abuse Service - call free on 800 916 1474, email: T.DAS@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.cjsm.net

• Victim Care Unit - funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Signposts to support services. Call 01392 475900

• Victim Support Line - 24/7 webchat support line or call 0300 303 0554 or out of hours 0808 168 9111

• Devon Rape Crisis - advice, help and support. Call 01392 204174 or out of hours 0808 802 9999.

For more information about local, log on to www.areyouok.co.uk/