Main image: Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is reassuring victims and survivors of domestic abuse they can leave home to get help.
Victims and survivors of domestic abuse are being reassured by police they can leave their household during lockdown to escape a dangerous situation or relationship.
Although local people are being asked to stay at home to lessen the impact of the coronavirus – household isolation does not apply if victims need to leave to protect themselves or their family against domestic violence.
As with the first lockdown, restrictions do not mean survivors have to stay in a dangerous environment or relationship.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens said: “Another lockdown is a scary and uncertain time for many of us but especially those who are in domestic abuse environments.
“I cannot stress enough that household isolation instructions such as lockdown or self-isolating do not apply if you need to leave your house to escape domestic abuse.
“I fear that victims and survivors think that restrictions mean they cannot leave their house and, therefore, the dangerous environment they find themselves in. This is not the case. Please know that you are not alone; come forward and seek help either by speaking to a local support service or by calling the police.”
The PCC and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) are continuing to work alongside local commissioned services to ensure providers can still deliver advocacy, emotional and psychological support.
This is being run remotely via phone, webchat and video chat, and their helplines remain active. for those who want to access support.
Victims and survivors can get help whether they choose to report the crime to the police or not, no matter how long ago the incident took place.
If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic abuse or sexual violence, you can call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency or go in person to a police station. You can also go online to fill in the report a crime or incident form.
Find out more about local support services at: https://www.thisisnotanexcuse.org