Domestic abuse support services in Somerset remain available for men and women to access during the coronavirus pandemic.

Local Somerset partners, including the NHS, Somerset County Council and specialist charitable organisations are keen to ensure that the public are aware that support continues to be available for Somerset residents affected by domestic abuse during the current state of emergency and that vital services continue to run.

The Government’s stay at home advice can create new challenges for people experiencing domestic abuse; home is not always a safe place for everyone. Self-isolating and/or social distancing while living with an abuser may heighten domestic tension and increase the risk of emotional or physical harm.

Donna Allender, Domestic Abuse Project Lead at Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said “During these difficult and uncertain times, those experiencing domestic abuse could be exposed to heightened levels of controlling, coercive behaviour – with little escape from threatening, intimidating or physically violent incidents”.

“It is thus important to circulate resources that can aid in the safe management of their experience during isolation. We want to reassure them that the message to stay at home does not mean that they should not get urgent help, advice or support”.

“Supporting victims of domestic abuse is still a priority for us and our colleagues in support organisations”. “You are not alone. Always remember that the abuse you are experiencing is not your fault. We want to remind you that you do not have to wait to receive help, it is available now”.

  • Somerset Domestic Abuse website www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk/covid-19-support
  • Call your local confidential domestic abuse helpline on 0800 69 49 999
  • If you are in immediate risk of danger you should still call 999 and the police will come to your aid. If you can’t speak then you should use the silent solutions service by dialing 999 and press 55.
  • Speak to your health professional

If you are worried about the impact of your abusive behaviour, and would like help to stop support is available.

People are also being urged to support the current Somerset County Council campaign #NoClosedDoors2020 – on Twitter and Facebook.