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What can I do if I don’t feel safe at home?

3 min read

Public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19, such as staying at home and social isolation, have created more opportunities for perpetrators of domestic abuse to offend and have increased the risk for women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse. Although men do experience domestic abuse, evidence suggests that in a significant majority of cases the perpetrator is male and the victim is female.  

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse or other forms of violence and control at home, support and services are still available and operating. 

Now more than ever, it’s important for you to know that you’re not alone and that you can contact support services in confidence.  In particular, you need to be aware that the Scottish Government’s rules include ‘reasonable excuse’ for leaving the home if there is a risk of harm.  

If it’s safe to do so, speak to a manager if it’s difficult for you to work or if you need support, for example if the abuser is preventing you from working or isn’t sharing childcare, making working more difficult for you.  

If you need to talk to someone in confidence, the following national helplines are there to help:  

National Domestic Abuse Helpline  Helpline: 0808 2000 247  

Scottish Women’s Aid  Helpline: 0800 027 1234  

Men’s Advice Line  Helpline: 0808 8010327  

Rape Crisis Scotland  Helpline: 08088 01 03 02  Text: 07537 410 027 or email: support@rapecrisisscotland.org.uk 

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline  Tel: 0800 027 1234 or email helpline@sdafmh.org.uk 

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline  Tel: 0800 999 5428 or email: help@galop.org.uk 

Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre  Helpline: 0808 801 0301  

Action on Elder Abuse  Helpline Tel: 0808 808 8141 

The Safer Scotland website has further information on helplines, and the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre holds an up-to-date list of all violence against women services available during the COVID-19 outbreak, including FGM; legal rights, immigration, victim support and housing. Their website can be found here.  

If you’re worried about someone else’s safety, the Safe and Together team have produced How to be an ally to someone experiencing domestic violence. 

SafeLives have also produced practical guidance on how to respond to colleagues who are experiencing domestic abuse. You can find this guidance here. 

Guidance produced by the Scottish Government can be found here. 

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