Cumbria Police would like to remind the public that we are still here to support anybody that is a victim of domestic abuse or anyone who is concerned about someone who may be a victim.
With the country on lockdown, families and couples are spending a lot more time together while self-isolating indoors and so we need to make sure now more than ever that victims of domestic abuse feel able to come forward. This is a difficult time for everyone but especially for adults living with domestic abuse and children being exposed to it.
Detective Chief Inspector Dan StQuintin, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “In the coming weeks and months we ask for everyone to look out for each other as much as possible. We would also like to extend this plea to those such as postal workers, delivery drivers, food delivery companies and carers etc…who will still be visiting houses, to keep an eye out for any signs of abuse and to report any concerns to us. We take a zero tolerance approach to abuse and victims can be reassured that we will listen to and support them. Together we can reduce the abuse to victims who are now more hidden from society
“A free app called ‘Bright Sky’ which can be downloaded onto mobile phones has been created by a company called ‘Hestia’ to provide support and information for domestic violence victims and can also be used by practitioners or anyone looking for information to support victims.”
The app, which can be disguised for those concerned about their partner monitoring their phone, is available in four different languages and holds a UK-wide directory of domestic abuse support services with full contact details, a secure journal tool to record incidents of abuse by text, audio, video or photo without it being stored onto the phone itself and a 999 emergency dialler.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “The country-wide lockdown is a stressful time for many of us but this stress will be magnified for victims of domestic abuse.
“I can only imagine the fear of those who are trapped in their homes with their abuser.
“Domestic abuse will not be tolerated here in Cumbria and any reports that do come in to the police will be taken seriously.
“Of course we understand that not everyone will want to report to the police.
“One of the services commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioners is Victim Support who can provide advice. Victim Support can be reached on 0300 303 015 or online in their Live Chat, Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm. Outside these hours they can be reached on 0808 168 9111.
Mark Groves, chief executive of the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV), said:
"While the whole country grapples with the consequences of Covid-19, there are huge dangers lurking for victims of domestic abuse and violence.
"We fully support Cumbria Police's plea to key workers to help the police investigate suspicions or concerns surrounding victims or perpetrators.
"We also want all victims to know that help is at hand - and that we are here for them.
"A call to the National Centre for Domestic Violence is one of the quickest and surest ways of obtaining a protective injunction to put a stop to abuse and taking back control of their lives. In some cases we can have a Court Order in place for them within as little as 24 hours."
If you are a victim of domestic abuse you can report non-emergency incidents by calling 101 or emailing email@example.com.
For more information on support services available, please see our website here: https://www.cumbria.police.uk/Advice-Centre/Personal-Safety/Domestic-Abuse.aspx