The UK is currently under lockdown measures meaning that everyone must stay at home, only leaving for permitted reasons such as exercise, shopping for essentials, or if you are considered a key worker.
One other exception is for those fleeing an abusive relationship, allowing survivors to leave their house in order to go to refuge. Lockdown has added many barriers for people looking to access support, so we have put together a list of ways in which people can reach out during this challenging time.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999. If it is not safe for you to speak, press 55 when prompted. This will alert the call handler that it is not safe for you to speak, but they will still be able to send support to you.
Accessing Leeway’s Services
Leeway’s services are running as normal and can be accessed via:
We launched our Live Chat during the summer as a discreet way for people to access support, which has been particularly important at a time where the perpetrator is likely to be at home more and it may be unsafe to make a phone call. We would like to remind people that the Live Chat service is not for fundraising, training or donation enquiries and these should be directed to the relevant email addresses found on our Contact page.
Ask for ANI
This is a scheme that has been introduced at the start of the year, enabling victims to access safe spaces in pharmacies to contact support organisations.
When going into a pharmacy and asking the pharmacist for “Ani” they will take you to a private consultation room where you will be put in touch with the police, support services or helplines. Lots of pharmacies across the country are taking part in this scheme, including major high street retailer Boots, with signs and posters displayed in participating stores.
Full information on the scheme can be found on this info page of the government website.
Rail to Refuge
For those having to travel in order to get to refuge, the Rail to Refuge scheme is providing free travel for those fleeing domestic abuse.
In a joint-initiative with Women’s Aid, the cost of train tickets is covered by train companies, helping to remove some of the barriers that may prevent people from accessing support.
Many survivors may have limited access to cash, especially if they have experienced economic abuse, which may have otherwise restricted their ability to access support.
Find out more about the Rail to Refuge scheme.
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