Our message to victims of domestic abuse: You are not alone

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You do not have to suffer from domestic abuse during lock-down…

This is the message from organisations across Liverpool today at the start of a campaign aimed at letting everyone know that even though we are in isolation, help is always available.

Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Police and others across the city have joined forces as part of the national #YouAreNotAlone campaign.

Each year more than 14,000 cases of domestic abuse are reported to Merseyside Police.

Latest reports to the council show there has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of reports of domestic violence in Liverpool during April.

However, experts working with victims fear many cases may be going unreported with people being unable to leave their homes and get away from their abuser. 

Domestic abuse can take many forms from physical violence through to psychological and emotional manipulation. 

It can be between partners, family members and even carers. Children can be victims of domestic abuse, either as secondary victims hearing and seeing abuse, or through being abused directly.

Liverpool City Council works with a range of organisations to provide support, advice and guidance to anyone who is suffering from domestic abuse. 

This includes working with a network of safe havens across the city for those who need to escape an abusive partner. 

These services are continuing throughout lockdown and the council and its partners say there is no need for anyone to suffer in silence. 

They are also calling on family members, friends and community members who suspect someone is the victim of domestic abuse, to take action and let someone know. 

A directory of local organisations that can provide help is available through Liverpool City Council Early Help Directory: ehd.liverpool.gov.uk

Or you can call:

  • Liverpool Domestic Abuse Services – 0151 263 7474
  • South Liverpool Domestic Services – 0151 494 2222
  • Savera UK (honour-based abuse and harmful practice specialist) – 0800 107 0726
  • National Domestic Abuse 24-hour Support Helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • RESPECT National Helpline, perpetrators (9am to 5pm) 0808 802 4040

In an emergency, people who feel they are in immediate danger can call 999. There is also a text 999 service to use in an emergency. 

For non-urgent information, people can also contact @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “To anyone out there who is struggling with an abusive partner, please make contact with us and we will get you the help you need to get you out of the situation you find yourself in.”

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities Cllr Liz Parsons said: “Because of coronavirus I am at home self-isolating to stay safe, but if home is not a safe place for you then we want you to know that you are not alone. 

“If you are suffering from any form of abuse, it’s never ok. and you do not have to stay at home if it is not safe to be there.

“We want you to know that we are here to help, so please talk to us.”

Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs of Merseyside Police said: “Protecting our most vulnerable communities is one of the force’s priorities, and we realise that being able to support and advise victims of domestic abuse has never been more important than it is now.

“I want people to feel reassured that, despite the current uncertainties, our work continues as normal and our officers will continue to investigate allegations and support victims.

“We are working closely with local domestic support organisations and charities to ensure that services and ongoing support are available to anyone who needs it during the lockdown period, including access to refuges.”

Annie (not her real name) suffered at the hands of an abusive partner for two years before seeking help. 

She said: “My partner was the nicest, kindest person ever at first but then the anger started to show. He became very intimidating, shouting at me and coming right up to me. It got worse because he physically attacked me. 

“I should have left straight away but he was sorry and said he would change but he didn’t, it got worse.”

“I decided to seek help and got him to leave and while it’s been a difficult time, life is better now.” “To anyone who is suffering, please speak to someone and the sooner you do it the better. You are not alone.”