Support for victims of domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak
Domestic Abuse can affect anybody.
You. A friend, family member, colleague, client, neighbour.
Sadly, home isn’t a safe place for everybody and the need for people to stay at home and to carry out social distancing due to Covid-19 may have a direct impact on many individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse.
Reports from other countries have shown that incidents of domestic abuse increased significantly following the outbreak, so it’s more important than ever for us to stay connected and take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.
How can you help?
With the increase in stress, uncertainty, and challenges, it is crucial that those who need support know that services are there to help and support them.
If it’s safe to do so, please do share information about domestic abuse services on social media, including routes to help and support.
Where possible, maintain contact via video call, and if you’re worried about somebody in an emergency always call 999.
Here are some links to key support services:
- Reducing the Risk provide information and services for those affected by domestic abuse in Oxfordshire. Their Facebook page has helpful content
- Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service offer confidential advice and guidance as well as practical support to help rebuild your confidence and empower people to make the changes they want. To access support via the Oxfordshire helpline dial 0800 731 0055 10am – 7pm weekdays.
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 200 0247 operate 24 hours, 7 days a week. Women’s Aid have published covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors to support women during this time.
Support and advice
The government defines domestic violence as "Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality".
Often the first step to breaking the cycle of abuse is to seek help. If you are seeking support and advice for yourself, a family member or a friend, visit . You can also call the domestic abuse helpline on 0800 731 0055 for confidential advice and support. If someone is in immediate danger dial 999.
The Community Safety Partnership funds a small repairs scheme run by MEARS, which aims to improve home security for vulnerable residents who have been or are likely to be victims of burglary and domestic abuse.
Domestic Homicide Reviews
Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR) are commissioned by the Community Safety Partnership [link to Community Safety Partnership page] in response to a death involving domestic violence or abuse. They are subject to the guidance issued by the Home Office under Section 9 of the Domestic Violence Crime & Victims Act 2004.
The purpose of a DHR is for professionals and agencies involved, such as the police, councils and social services to understand the circumstances that led to the death of a family member. Reviews then aim to identify how to improve multiple agencies responses to victims of domestic violence and prevent these tragedies in the future.
Last reviewed: 03 - 04 - 2020