What can I do if I'm affected by domestic violence or abuse?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting everyone's day to day life. But for a victim and their children experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse, the impact is significant and can put them in danger.
South Tyneside Council and partners are here for you and your family and services, although they might be delivered differently, are still available. You still have options and we will do everything to help you.
There is a range of domestic violence and abuse services that might be able to help you, including:
Ask for ANI at a local pharmacy - ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately. This codeword is a discreet way to ask for emergency help from the safety of your local pharmacy. Visit the government website for more about Ask for ANI.
Options (Impact Family Services) provides confidential and non-judgemental support to women over 16, on domestic abuse issues, in a safe place and can be contacted on 07375 788 835.
If you're worried about someone knowing you have visited these web pages, the Women's Aid website has help and advice on how to cover your tracks online.
Women's Aid have also developed The Survivor's Handbook which provides practical support and information for women experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
The Handbook includes making a safety plan to help you to protect yourself and your children. It helps you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave, including:
Planning how you might respond in different situations, including crisis situations
Teaching your children to call 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number)
Rehearsing an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children can get away safely
Packing an emergency bag for yourself and your children, and hiding it somewhere safe (for example, at a neighbour's or friend's house, but try to avoid mutual friends or family)
Trying to go to a lower risk area of the house if you suspect that your partner is about to attack you (for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone and avoiding places where there are likely to be knives or other weapons)
Acknowledging that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse
Telling them that no one deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what their abuser may have told them
Asking if they have suffered physical harm and, if so, offering to go with them to a hospital or to see their GP
Helping them to report the violence or abuse to the police, if they choose to do so
Providing information on organisations that offer help to abused women and their children
Offering them the use of your address and/or telephone number to leave information and messages, and telling them you will look after an emergency bag for them, if they want that
Remember to look after yourself while you are supporting someone through such a difficult and emotional time. Ensure that you do not put yourself into a dangerous situation. For example, do not offer to talk to the abuser about them or let yourself be seen by the abuser as a threat to their relationship.
The Home Office has introduced a scheme allowing police to disclose to individuals details of their partners' abusive pasts.
Clare's Law, also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) aims to ensure that more people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary.
For more information, or to make a request for information, visit the Northumbria Police website.