SUPPORTING INDIVIDUALS AT RISK
In response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the information provided by the UK Government and Public Health England, Olive Pathway has been required to temporarily work from home and stop face-to-face support for the safety of our staff and clients.
However, due to ease of the lockdown, we have resumed ad-hoc office-based work with continuous social distancing measures in place.
Our helpline (07958659203 9am-4pm excluding bank holidays) remains monitored and available.
As we have all been advised by the UK Government and Public Health to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Home is supposed to be somewhere that we feel safe, but we know that for some people, home is not the safe haven that is supposed to be.
If you are experiencing or are at risk of Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence, then you may be self-isolating with someone who wants to or is harming you. This could be your partner, family or extended family.
No instances of any form of abuse and violence are too minor to report. Please speak up and get some help!
WHAT CAN I DO TO FEEL SAFE DURING LOCKDOWN?
Every experience of Domestic Abuse and Gender Based Violence is different and there will be ways to feel safe that work for others but might not work for you. You should do what feels safe for you, but here are some suggestions/ways you can feel safe or get to safety while in isolation:
The government said that although we have to stay home, those at risk of abuse are allowed to leave in order to get help and seek refuge. If you are allowed to leave the house when getting essential items, and you feel safe doing so, use this time to find a way of contacting someone for help or getting a message to someone who may be able to help you. You can access the government guidance here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help
If you have a social worker, IDVA or other professional who contacts you regularly, tell them that you are living with your abuser(s). They can help develop a safety plan with you.
Reach out to support services such as Olive Pathway who specialise in Domestic Abuse and Gender-Based Violence among Black Minority Ethnics (BME) and can provide culturally sensitive confidential support – helpline 0795865203
For some people, the lifeline of getting away from an abusive home may have been school, university, regular health checks and visits or work. If you are maintaining contact with these individuals, reach out to them for support
Think about when the pandemic/lockdown is over. What you can do to get away from those causing you harm. Where could you go? Who can you ask for help? What would you need to take with you?
If safe to do so, report your concerns to the police using 101 (non-emergency reporting)
Use domestic abuse apps such as Hollie Guard and Bright Sky to get advice and support.
Consultation rooms Boots are safe spaces where you can find the support you need.
WHAT IF I’M IN IMMEDIATE DANGER?
If you or someone you know are in immediate danger and are at risk any form of violence then please contact the police on 999.
The police ‘Silent Solution’ system will ensure that the police are aware if you are in need of urgent help but cannot speak. For this to work, the instructions are as follows:
1) Dial 999
2) Listen to the questions
3) Respond by coughing or tapping the headset if they cannot easily speak
4) If prompted – press 55 – and they will be put through to the police
If you are not in immediate danger, here is a list of other services who can support you:
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24hr)
NSPCC FGM Helpline: 0800 028 3550
Victim Support National: 0808 1689 111 (24hr)
LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
Samaritans: 116 123 (24hr)
Other Useful Information
Women’s Aid: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
Government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse
Please dial 999, The police take these crimes very seriously and Olive Pathway will work with them to ensure the situation is handled sensitively and with the individual’s safety as a priority.
Olive Pathway is there to support our users both at the point of crisis and also to help them build their confidence and self-esteem.