‘Don’t suffer behind closed doors’ – that is the message from Somerset County Council, who are working closely with partners to make sure services continue during the new lockdown.
The Council’s domestic abuse campaign, #NoClosedDoors2020, is spreading the message that restrictions imposed because of the pandemic may heighten tension and increase domestic abuse – for some people home is not always the safe place it should be.
Whilst it is still essential that people stay at home if they can, the government acknowledges that this advice can cause anxiety for anyone experiencing domestic abuse.
Therefore, the current guidance states you are allowed to leave your home to flee an abuser and seek help. Local support services and the police remain, and will continue to remain, available throughout the lockdown.
Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses people are under – there is no excuse for abuse.
Earlier this year the Council commissioned The You Trust to be the new provider of the specialist Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (SIDAS), the service has robust business continuity plans in place which will ensure that they continue to operate during the current restrictions and beyond.
The service works with men, women and children affected by domestic abuse, and who need the specialist support that SIDAS offers.
A range of services are available through SIDAS including safe emergency accommodation, outreach support and a local helpline. All these are delivered by a highly experienced and qualified team which is following Government guidance for keeping those experiencing domestic abuse safe in these unprecedented times.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 69 49 999.
In an emergency you should always dial 999. If you are worried that an abuser may overhear your call you can remain silent, tap the phone and dial 55 when prompted by the operator who will send help.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired you can register with emergencySMS.net. Once registered you will be able to send a text to 999 if you require help in an emergency.
Please help make a difference – spread the word about #NoClosedDoors2020 to help people who are being abused behind closed doors.
Search #NoClosedDoors2020 and repost/retweet the messages and articles on your social media accounts. Help someone to get the support they urgently need.