Suffolk County Council working with Anglia Care Trust has today <Friday 22 May> extended its Domestic Abuse Helpline to offer 24-hour support and is urging anyone experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse to make contact, when safe to do so.
With lockdown measures still in place, it is important that those who may find themselves at risk of abuse at home, can access the right support at whatever time they need. The existing Domestic Abuse Outreach Service have therefore extended its 0800 977 5690 freephone number to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Anyone with concerns including professionals who may be supporting clients, as well as friends and families who are concerned for loved ones, can access this local support.
The government advice encouraging people to stay at home as much as possible will have created additional challenges to those at risk of domestic abuse who may feel unable to access safe support. Domestic abuse remains a priority for partners across Suffolk during this period.
Paul West, Cabinet Member for Communities at Suffolk County Council, said: “More than ever, it is really important that we look out for each other and if you have concerns about a neighbour, friend or family member please encourage them to reach out for support when it is safe for them to do so.
“This 24 hour free phone line is a vital lifeline in helping those in need.”
The service also includes a live web chat each day from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday which can be assessed here: https://angliacaretrust.org.uk/
If people are in immediate danger they should call the police on 999. If someone is unable to speak or make a sound, but needs immediate help, they should call 999 and stay on the line, then press 55 when prompted and the call will be transferred to the police, who will know it is an emergency call.
For those looking for help online, ‘quick exit’ buttons and other mechanisms can be used to increase online privacy. Information is available from www.techsafety.org/internetbrowserprivacytips
The charity Respect offers support for people exhibiting abusive behaviour or who are worried about their own behaviour on 0808 8024040 or at www.respectphoneline.org.uk/help-for-perpetrators/