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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
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline Tel: 0800 027 1234 or email email@example.com
Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre Helpline: 0808 801 0301
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.
Guidance produced by the Scottish Government can be found here.
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