It can be difficult at the best of times to reach out for support if you are one of the 1 in 4 women or 1 in 6 men who suffer from domestic abuse in all its various forms. Staying safe, maintaining your boundaries and keeping going is difficult enough, not least at a time like this when so much has changed for so many people. If you are forced into closer proximity with someone who you believe means you harm, or is actively violent, please don't stop reaching out for help. You might feel that you can't burden friends and family with your worries because they will be dealing with their own stuff. In fact, many people enjoy helping others when things are tough, so please don't keep your concerns to yourself, please give reaching out a go.
Most women's centres, including the one I work at, Watford Women's Centre, are still open for business as usual, though staff might be working from home. Their services and advice to victims of domestic abuse are continuing and they will flex more than ever around your needs at the moment, knowing for example, that phone calls might need to be made at unusual times. Also, government advice around staying at home DOES NOT APPLY in the same way to people seeking help with domestic abuse. I have copied a link to government advice here;
There is an app for victims of domestic abuse called Bright Sky. It is free to download and provides support and information for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or someone who is concerned about a friend or family member. You can download it from the App Store or Google Play. It includes;
- A unique UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services with contact details.
- A secure My Journal tool to record incidents of abuse via text, audio, video or photo form, and DOES NOT save any of this content on the device itself.
- Questionnaires to help you assess the safety of a relationship, plus a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse.
- Links to further resources.
In case you need it, here are some local contacts;
Aylesbury Women's Aid
Slough (Hestia - domestic abuse services provider)
Wycombe Women's Aid
Thames Valley - Victims First
0300 1234 148
Watford Women's Centre
Alison: 01923 816229 or email@example.com