Most people probably get a bit grumpy with their families on occasion in lockdown, but sometimes a relationship can become abusive, or existing abuse can increase or feel more overwhelming.
Abuse is not just physical or sexual. It can also be emotional, financial or social. It can include:
- Calling names
- Restricting access to family and friends (including by phone or social media)
- Deliberately making it difficult for a person to do their work
- Refusing to discuss how money is spent with a relationship, or to allocate it fairly
You do not have to put up with this. The only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is none.
If you need help, it is still there; you are not alone, even in social isolation.
Police Scotland are there to help. In an emergency call 999; if there is a threat to life, crime in progress or the suspect is nearby. Otherwise call 101 to speak to a local officer, report a crime, or get advice. There is also an online reporting form: https://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/c3/ with quick ‘navigate away’ buttons. Further information: https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/advice-for-victims-of-crime/domestic-abuse/who-else-can-i-contact-for-support/
Police Scotland have told Scottish Women’s Aid that they are responding to reports of domestic abuse as normal.
East Lothian Council
The Council can and will help with housing and financial advice if you are a victim of domestic abuse and need to leave your home. You are allowed to leave an abusive situation at any time including during lockdown. Our systems are operating, though with changes to allow for social distancing. The contact centre is available 24/7 and can put you in touch with the right people to help you – 01620 827827.
You can use Council equipment (e.g. laptops, phones) to seek help and advice in this situation.
If you are concerned your children may be at risk our Social work section can provide support and advice. Social work support is available on 01875 824 309 during office hours, or in an emergency 0800 731 6969.
East Lothian Council’s employee policy on domestic abuse is available on the intranet here: https://intranet.eastlothian.gov.uk/downloads/file/1525/domestic_abuse_workplace_policy However note that some of the helpline information has changed since this was produced, as has some of the legislation in this area.
NOTE: if you are accessing these sites from Council equipment, you may receive a ‘Content Blocked’ notification. You can access these sites using the ‘Continue for work purposes’ button.
Other sources of help and support:
Scottish Women’s Aid – Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline remains fully operational during the coronavirus pandemic. Call 0800 027 1234, or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Web chat is available at from www.sdafmh.org.uk
Men’s Advice Line – https://mensadviceline.org.uk/ or 0808 801 0327 provides support and advice for male victims of abuse
LGBT Domestic Abuse Scotland – provides support and signposting for those in LGBT relationships – https://www.lgbtdomesticabuse.org.uk/
Broken Rainbow – UK wide charity for those in LGBT+ relationships, provides phone and email support www.brokenrainbow.org.uk – call 0800 999 5428
Rape Crisis Scotland – for victims of sexual violence; www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk call 08088 01 03 02 between 6pm and midnight. Email: email@example.com or Text: 077537 410 027 for initial contact, information and signposting
Victim Support Scotland – www.victimsupportsco.org.uk – Phone support line 0800 160 1985 open Mon – Fri, 8 am – 8 pm or web form to request support, also information.