Live chat service launches today to support victims of domestic abuse across county during pandemic lockdown
and live on Freeview channel 276
SafeNet Domestic Abuse and Support Services is launching the service which will allow victims and survivors of abuse, who are trapped at home during the COVID 19 crisis, to access direct support from experienced domestic abuse support workers.
The chat service is now available seven days a week on both the SafeNet and Lancashire Refuges websites.
The new platform gives those who need help the option to discuss their situation one to one with a support worker and seek advice discreetly and confidentially.
SafeNet’s domestic abuse support services continue to operate safe refuge accommodation and numerous safe houses, which are in even greater demand during these unprecedented times. The current stay-at-home measures have further reduced opportunities to access help via agency referrals and phone calls for those in
abusive and controlling situations.
SafeNet support staff will be available on-line to provide practical and emotional support, to discuss options available, including refuge places, safe house accommodation, sign posting, risk assessing and safety planning, but most of all to be there for anyone who is scared and at risk, to listen and support.
There has been an alarming rise in domestic abuse cases since the Governments stay-at-home
measures began in the UK on March 23rd with increases of 25 percent being reported in some areas.
With that in mind, it’s critical that people know that they can still access help and will not be punished by the authorities should they need to escape abuse and violence at home, if they need emergency assistance, regardless of the social distancing measures that are currently in place.
Helen Gauder, Managing Director at SafeNet, the lead provider of Lancashire Refuges and part of The Calico Group, said: “We decided to launch this new service in response to the added difficulties victims and survivors face during this COVID 19 crisis.
"We know that victims and survivors need new, safe alternative ways to access support and essential services, as domestic abuse is increasing as the stay-at-home measures impact in dangerous homes.
"We will continue to develop and extend our services and provide additional safe accommodation services as the crisis deepens.
“It’s important for us to reach out, to help as many people as we can, especially those who are living in particularly vulnerable circumstances, such as being isolated with their abuser(s) and having limited contact with the outside world.”
The live chat service is available everyday during three dedicated timeslots: 10am -noon, 2pm – 4pm and 8pm – 10pm.