If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.
Warning: if you're worried about someone knowing you have visited this website read how to cover your tracks online
We know that if you are currently experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse you will know what being isolated and frightened will feel like. You might be worried about self-isolating with someone who is harming you. Social distancing and isolation measures (such as working from home) that are necessary to control the spread of the virus may reinforce the power that an abuser has over you and your family.
Safe Lives have created a guide to Staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic to help you think about what you might do over the coming weeks to stay safe.
What is domestic abuse?
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 defines domestic abuse as abusive behaviour by a person towards another person who is aged 16 and over where they are personally connected.
Abusive behaviour can be a single incident or course of behaviour and is defined as:
- physical or sexual abuse;
- violent or threatening behaviour;
- controlling or coercive behaviour;
- economic abuse
- psychological, emotional or other abuse;
Personally connected is defined as such:
- they are, or have been, married to each other;
- they are, or have been, civil partners of each other;
- they have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);
- they have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);
- they are, or have been, in an intimate personal relationship with each other;
- they each have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child (see subsection (2));
- they are relatives.
Children are a victim of domestic abuse where they see, hear or otherwise experience the effects of the abuse and they are related to the victim or perpetrator.
Silent Solutions is a system set up for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger if they are overheard calling 999.
If you are unable to audibly signal to the emergency operator, press 55 and the operator will transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
Support in Camden
Everyone has the right to personal safety - so if you are worried it is never too late to seek help.
In an emergency please call 999, or for non-emergency matters requiring police assistance call 101.
Camden Safety Net is providing additional support such as more frequent contact with those at risk and developing dynamic safety plans. We know that victim/survivors and families of domestic abuse might feel more unsafe during this time, especially if they are self-isolating and staying at home with an abuser. This could include guidance such as enlisting help and support from trusted friends and/or neighbours, asking them to check in regularly if safe to do so and setting up code words or phrases with them, which would indicate police, should be contacted.
Following Public Health England and NHS guidelines changes have been made to how the service is currently delivered:
- We have suspended our training offer
- All our advocacy and safety planning will be done by telephone, email and/or text
- All counselling services will continue remotely
- IDSVAs will no longer be co-located throughout the community services
- Our duty service will continue to operate providing immediate advice and support via telephone or email
Powers under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 is a landmark piece of legislation, first introduced July 2019 and received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021.
The Act provides powers to protect domestic abuse victims.
Some of the powers are:
- A duty on local authorities in England to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation
- Ensure that anyone made homeless as a result of domestic abuse is automatic in priority need for housing
- A local housing authority must grant a secure tenancy to any person who was a qualifying tenant at a previous address who was a victim of domestic abuse and is being re-housed because of that abuse
- A senior police officer may give a domestic abuse protection notice against a perpetrator where there is reasonable grounds to believe they have been abusive towards the victim and the notice is necessary to protect the victim. It may only be given to adults over 18. The notice may prohibit the perpetrator from contacting or going to the home of the victim and gives police powers of arrest if breached.
- The court may grant a domestic abuse protection order against a perpetrator. An application must be made within 48 hours following a notice being given by the police but third parties may also apply.
- A new standalone offence of non-fatal strangulation
- The coercive control offence is extended to include post-separation abuse
- Threats to share intimate images will be a criminal offence
Other useful telephones are:
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
North London Rape Crisis – 0808 082 9999
The Haven – 0203 312 1101