Lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have left many victims of domestic abuse feeling trapped and a greater risk of harm.
But Dorset residents are reminded they can get confidential advice and support.
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Housing and Community Safety said, “If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please reach out. Specialist advisers have been available throughout lockdown, and continue to be there.
“They will listen to you, and together you can talk about different options and work out what is right for you.
“Whether it’s talking through worries or making a safety plan, these support services can be contacted 24 hours a day to help you.”
In an emergency, always dial 999.
Speak to You First advisers are available anytime day or night on 0800 032 5204. Alternatively, you can see a range of other support options at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/dvahelp.
Or call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.
Dorset Council is set to receive an additional £650,000 from the government to fund a new duty providing support for victims and their children, including safe accommodation. This is part of the government’s forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill.
Cllr Andrew Kerby, chairman of the council’s People and Health Overview Committee, said, “Domestic abuse is unacceptable, and we are committed to preventing it, supporting victims and prosecuting offenders.
“This money, and the Domestic Abuse Bill, will strengthen our response, providing adults and children with the right support.”
Dorset Council is also supporting the national AskforANI campaign which enables victims of domestic abuse to get support at their local pharmacy.
Cllr Molly Rennie who leads on domestic abuse work, said, “Look out for a poster in the window of your local pharmacy and ask for Ani (pronounced Annie). You’ll be taken by a staff member to a private room where you will be put in touch with support services which can help you.”
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