COVID-19 and Domestic Abuse
The Department of Justice published guidance on domestic abuse in light of COVID-19. This is for those who are affected by domestic abuse, setting out the services that are available for help and support. It may also be helpful to those who are concerned about someone else (such as a friend, family member or a neighbour) that may be suffering from domestic abuse. Those affected by domestic abuse are not alone, support is available. CLICK HERE
New domestic abuse offence comes into force (February 2021)
Domestic abuse in all its forms, both physical and non-physical, is wrong and will not be tolerated, Justice Minister Naomi Long said. Read full Press Release HERE:
Support for staff affected by domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is a serious crime – last year in the Southern Trust area there were over 5,000 reported incidents of Domestic Abuse. It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Up to a quarter of domestic abuse crimes affect men.
The definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse is:
‘threatening, controlling, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, virtual, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on anyone (irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any form of disability) by a current or former intimate partner or family member’
During this COVID-19 pandemic our lives have been drastically altered with home working, social distancing and self-isolation. We know that this can leave those who are at risk or experiencing domestic abuse feel especially isolated, vulnerable, exposed and unsafe at home. We want to reassure you that if you feel you are at risk of abuse, worried you may commit domestic abuse or are worried about a colleague, advice and support is available. Below we have listed some organisations and services that can advise and support those experiencing abuse.
For more information on a range of support options available to staff, addressing concerns and supporting colleagues see the Workplace Policy and Guide on Domestic Abuse for Staff and Managers.
If you are experiencing or suspect someone else is suffering from Domestic Abuse you can contact the Nexus 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.
If you are in danger and need the PSNI but can’t speak:
- Dial 999
- Listen to the questions from the 999 operator
- Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
- If prompted, press 55 (this lets the 999 call operator know it’s a genuine emergency and you’ll be put through to the police)
For advice and support to help with emotional wellbeing call the SHSCT Psychology Support Line on 028 3756 2600.
Victims of domestic abuse are now able to access safe spaces at Boots pharmacy consultation rooms where specialist domestic abuse services can be contacted for support and advice. This scheme is in response to the desperate situation facing many victims who are isolating with perpetrators during lockdown. CLICK HERE for more information.
- Domestic Abuse Poster Covid-19
- Workplace Guide on Domestic Abuse for Staff and Managers
- Workplace Policy on Domestic Abuse
- PSNI Make Yourself Heard Silent Solution Guide
- PSNI Make Yourself Heard Silent Solution Poster
- Southern Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership Newsletter – May 2019
- Southern Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership Newsletter – August 2018
Watch real life story of domestic abuse survivor and steps taken to support her at work below:
Nexus 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline