Christmas is traditionally a time enjoyed by many, but unfortunately for some it is also the time that domestic abuse is at its highest.
If you are worried about yourself, or someone you love this Christmas, please follow the below tips:
- It goes without saying that in an emergency you must always call 999. They are there for you any day of the year. If you are worried about calling the police or cannot make a sound when calling, you can use the ‘silent solution’ by pressing 55 on your telephone keypad. If no service is requested but suspicious noises are heard then the call handler will connect you to the police. Once connected to the police, you will get an automated police message that lasts for 20 seconds, and then it will ask you to press 55 and this will alert the operator who will transfer the call to your local force. The silent solution will only work from a mobile phone.
- If you call 999 from a landline phone and cannot speak, the operator will connect you to the local police force if the background noise is concerning to them or you do not answer questions. Landlines will immediately give your geographic information.
- It may be a good idea to share your location with someone you trust especially if getting a taxi or going out alone. Apps such as Uber and Bolt have this facility built into them, but if not messaging apps such as WhatsApp allow this function.
- It may be a good idea to arrange a code-word with someone you trust so that if it is said over the phone or messaged to them they know to call the police.
- Support services may or may not be open over the Festive period, it is best to check their websites.
- If you are feeling lonely or low Samaritans have a helpline on 116 123
- If you need a safe place to go, please present at your local A & E or police station. They should be able to signpost you.
- You may feel it necessary to pack an emergency bag with some clothes and essentials, such as chargers, medication, and your identity documents.
- If you are worried about abuse at home and are able to discuss it with a friend, it may be prudent to arrange that you can attend their property if you wish to get away from home.