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Drive statement on COVID-19 and domestic abuse

As we all adjust to life under the coronavirus pandemic and everyone is asked to stay inside to combat the spread of the virus, we know that not everyone feels safe at home. We are thinking of those child and adult victims of domestic abuse and know that frontline services that deliver domestic abuse support are essential.

The work being done to manage the risks that high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse pose is urgent and it is crucial it continues throughout this period of lockdown.

As Drive, our service providers are adjusting the way they work to adapt to the virus. We are focusing on working in partnership with police, social services, and other agencies to assess and respond to the risk individual perpetrators pose during this period of lockdown and conduct victim safety planning. Victim and survivor safety is at the forefront of all the work we do, and this will not change.

While this period may increase pressures, stresses and isolation, there is no excuse for abuse – not now, and not ever. Perpetrators must be held to account for their abusive behaviour, just as they always should be.

While containing the spread of the virus is urgent, it is also crucial that government and partners such as police, probation, social services, and third sector organisations are able to deliver their work during this time. Collaboration and partnership will be vital to effectively support domestic abuse victims and prevent perpetrators from abusing – and we will be supporting these collective efforts.

We encourage any professionals who are concerned about high-harm, high-risk perpetrators and may feel uncertain of how to respond during this time to get in contact with Drive at info@driveproject.org.uk.

For anyone who is worried about harming someone or about their behaviour please contact the Respect Phoneline: 0808 802 4040.

Click here to read advice from the Home Office.

Online support if you’re experiencing abuse:

Women’s Aid online chat service (open Monday-Friday 10am-12pm)

Chayn: information, guidance and courses to support coping and recovery

Northern Ireland: 0808 802 1414

Scotland: 0800 027 1234

Wales: 0808 8010 800

Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327

Dyn Wales/Dyn Cymru: 0808 801 0321 (for men in Wales experiencing domestic abuse)

Galop: 0800 999 5428 (national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse)

Support and information for professionals

Join the free SafeLives Community for guidance and resources from SafeLives as the situation changes, and to connect with other professionals around the country.