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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Domestic abuse support

  1. Overview
  2. Contact the police in an emergency
  3. Ask for ANI at a local pharmacy 
  4. Support services
  5. Homelessness advice and welfare assistance
  6. If you are worried about an adult
  7. If you are worried about a child


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. Social distancing and isolation means that victims and their children are sometimes left with the prospect of being isolated in their house with the perpetrator. 

We know that victims and their families are worried about accommodation, emotional wellbeing, negotiating child contact, accessing welfare benefits, as well as their safety and that of their children.

On this page we are sharing information, advice and resources to help support you through this time,  As always, if you or someone else is in immediate danger please call 999 and ask for the police

South Tyneside Council and partners want to reassure you and your family that we're still here and that services, although they might be delivered differently, are still available. You still have options and we will do everything to help you.

Always remember that the abuse you are experiencing is not your fault. If you're a neighbour, friend, or family member, and think someone might be at risk, please report your concerns or get advice from the services listed below.

For a directory of services, guidance and personal safety planning advice, please see Domestic violence and abuse services.

Contact the police in an emergency

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. 

Silent calls to the police will work if you are not safe to speak - use the Silent Solution system and call 999 and then press 55

    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.

    Support services

    South Tyneside domestic abuse specialist services and national helplines are also offering support remotely via phone or email.

    If you aren't in immediate danger, the following numbers might be helpful:

    • Impact Family Services (South Tyneside)
    • Refuge (24 hours)
    • England: Freephone 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 247 2000
    • LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline:
    • Men's Advice Line:
    • Karma Nirvana, UK Helpline for 'honour'-based abuse and forced marriage: 0800 5999 247
    • Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321
    • If you see or hear domestic abuse, speak up. Web:

    See support for people most at risk during the pandemic

    Homelessness advice and welfare assistance

    If you're facing homelessness due to domestic abuse in South Tyneside, contact South Tyneside Homes. Visit South Tyneside Homes: Homelessness.

    We have established a hardship fund to support residents in financial crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, see Crisis support.

    If you are worried about an adult

    If you're worried about a vulnerable adult experiencing domestic abuse, speak to the Let's Talk Team. 

    Tel: 0191 4246000

    You can also contact CrimeStoppers. They are an independent charity that gives you the power to speak up to stop crime, 100% anonymously.

    If you are worried about a child

    If you're worried about a child who might be witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse, speak to Children's Services (Integrated Safeguarding Intervention Team) on 0191 4245010.

    For the Out of Hours/Emergency Duty Team (Adults and Children) call 0191 456 2093.

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