Support for people suffering domestic abuse

Where can you find help?

Domestic abuse options for help
Help available for victims of domestic abuse

During the coronavirus pandemic there has been a lot of news coverage on the issue of domestic abuse, brought to the fore by the lockdown.

My colleagues, Louise Ballantyne and Rachael Bridges, have written articles during this period on the legal options available to victims to help tackle the problem and the Domestic Abuse Bill.

However, the very nature of domestic abuse will mean that sometimes the victim may not have the freedom to access the support available to them particularly during the lockdown, or help may be needed immediately. Therefore I thought it might be helpful to highlight some of the places where you may be able to obtain support should you need it.

The first thing to note is that if you are in danger and need immediate help, you should call 999. If you are unable to speak, then you can dial 55 which will alert the call handler to the fact that you require police assistance.

If you need to escape domestic abuse, that is an acceptable reason to leave your home during lockdown. If you have nowhere else to go in the short term, Refuge UK have a 24 hour helpline number and can offer assistance. The helpline number is 0808 2000 247.

However, if the support that is needed is less immediate in nature, where else can help be found?

In May a new national campaign was launched to raise awareness in the UK - UK Says No More. The campaign was set up with the purpose of uniting members of the public and organisations nationwide to actively take a stand against domestic abuse and sexual violence and provides tools and resources for individuals and organisations to take action and get involved in making a difference.

One of the initiatives set up by the campaign was to partner with Boots Pharmacies, announced in a recent article by The BBC, to provide safe spaces for domestic abuse victims. You can walk into any store, and ask the pharmacist to use their consultation room and they will show you to their safe space where you will find information regarding specialist domestic abuse support, and be able to make appropriate calls in safety. 

These are a few of the options available to you. Domestic abuse is against the law, if you require advice on any legal issues relating to this please contact our Family Team on 01733 882800 or email

Author: Hannah Byatt, Associate

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.