Domestic Abuse Support and Information

Cumbria Safeguarding Adults Board have been working together with our partners to signpost to information and support available both locally and nationally for victims of domestic abuse during COVID-19 and the period of lock-down.  

Domestic Abuse - The government acknowledges that the order for people to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are. GOV UK have issued guidance for anyone suffering from domestic abuse with free and confidential advice available 24 hours a day on a dedicated helpline 0808 2000 247. 

Support & how to report - For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is still help and support available, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, isolation rules do not apply.  If you need to speak to someone regarding domestic abuse or would like to make a report please call 101, or use the online reporting form herethis external link will open in a new window. Always call 999 in an emergency.  

Facebook Q & A sessions - Cumbria Police together with partner agencies including Health, NSPCC, Victim Support, and Adult Social Care have launched a domestic abuse question and answer session on Facebook. A panel of safeguarding experts work together to answer domestic abuse related questions from the public via the Cumbria Police Facebook page. This includes the option to send a private message where people wish to remain anonymous, or the facility to post a question on the Cumbria Police Facebook Wallthis external link will open in a new window. 

Silent Solution 55 - Silent Solution 55 is the name given to the initiative which allows people to call 999 when they are in danger which means they cannot speak.   When you phone 999 the operator will ask what emergency service you need. If there is no answer, the operator will then ask you to cough, or make another audible sign that you're in need of police assistance.

If you're in too much danger to make any sound at all, the call will be put through to an automated system which asks the caller to press 55 if they're in danger. If 55 isn't dialled, the police will not be dispatched. The police have been using the system for more than 15 years in order to help operators identify which calls are genuine and which are accidental. 

Guidance for Practitioners- The Local Government Association (LGA) in partnership with Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) has published guidance for managers and practitioners dealing with cases of domestic abuse and overlaps with safeguarding. This guide sets out the overlaps between safeguarding and domestic abuse and the approaches and legal frameworks for domestic abuse that can be used in the safeguarding context.

Bright Sky App - This app enables people experiencing domestic abuse to record an online journal with no trace of the evidence appearing on their phones. Bright Sky also provide specialist support and advice for people experiencing domestic abuse. 

Safety Planningthis external link will open in a new window - Victim Support have developed advice for anyone currently experiencing domestic abuse and coercive control who may feel even more isolated and frightened than usual while families are social distancing or having to self-isolate. This includes information on how to stay safe and safety planning in the event they are in immediate danger.

Support Services in Cumbria - No one deserves to suffer in silence and so partners across Cumbria are working with services who support victims of domestic abuse during COVID-19. Information relating to these services has also been shared with residents across Cumbria via local Co-ordination hubs.  Our front line services will signpost victims to support services which are still operational.

Guidance for professionals for Domestic Abuse : Emergency Operating Procedures (COVID-19)this external link will open in a new window - The CSAB, Safer Cumbria and Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership have produced 'Guidance for professionals for Domestic Abuse Emergency Operating Procedures during COVID-19', this guidance has been provided to support adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them. It is imperative that we give the message to victims and families that we are still actively working to support them in this situation and will continue to ensure domestic abuse is a priority.

Domestic Abuse Toolkitthis external link will open in a new window - this toolkit will help your organisation make a commitment to respond to the risk of domestic abuse and build an approach that ensures all employees feel supported and empowered by their workplace to deal with domestic abuse.

Cumbria Police - Ask for 'ANI' - Domestic abuse victims in Cumbria can now discretely seek help from pharmacy staff taking part in a new scheme - by “asking for Ani”. The phrase will be code that they are making a call for assistance, with staff at participating pharmacies being trained on the next steps to take.