West Berkshire Council

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Website Maintenance and Payments Offline

Due to maintenance, our website may be unavailable at times from midnight on Friday 10 July to 6pm on Sunday 12 July. 

Our payment system will be unavailable on Sunday 12 July from 12:30 to 4:30pm. We can't take any payments while we complete this process.

We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause, but we'll have things back up and running normally as soon as possible.

What should I do if I'm experiencing relationship conflicts or domestic abuse?

Support and guidance if you are worried about domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. Press 55 if you are unable to talk on the phone, where you will be assisted without having to speak.

Alternatively, call our West Berkshire domestic abuse service, provided by A2dominion on their telephone helpline on 0800 731 0055 between 10am-7pm, Monday to Friday. If safe to do so, you can also email das@a2dominion.co.uk.


Support services and contacts

  • Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline - Telephone helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0808 2000 247.  Their website also provides guidance and support. 
  • Women's Aid - a live chat service is available Monday to Friday, 10am - 12pm. If safe to do so, you can also email helpline@womensaid.org.uk
  • Men's Advice Line - Telephone helpline is available Monday to Friday from 9am, closing times vary on 0808 801 0327. Webchat is available Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 10am - 11am and 3pm - 4pm
  • Flag DV - Offers free legal advice for victims of domestic abuse. Telephone helpline is available Monday to Friday, 10am - 7pm on 0800 731 0055.
  • Victims First - provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime as well as family members of victims. Telephone helpline is available Monday to Friday from 9am, closing times vary on 0300 1234 148.
  • Galop - National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline open Monday to Friday from 10am, closing times vary on 0800 999 5428.
  • National Stalking Helpline - Telephone helpline is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:30am - 4pm or Wednesday 1pm - 4pm on 0808 802 0300.
  • Karma Nirvana - Supporting victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage. Telephone helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm on 0800 5999. 
Domestic Abuse - you are not alone graphic
Domestic Abuse - you are not alone graphic

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is more than physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:

  • coercive control and 'gaslighting'
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • psychological abuse

For more information about what domestic abuse is and the forms that this can take please visit the Victim Support website.

How could your relationship be affected?

The coronavirus could put a strain on all relationships, especially as families are now spending more time alone with each other. This additional pressure could manifest itself in different ways and could mean that:

  • You and your partner could be bickering or arguing more
  • You might feel trapped which may trigger feelings of anxiety and may transfer onto your partner
  • You could be self-isolating with someone who is harming you
  • You could be/feel that you are at an increased risk of domestic abuse as you and your partner are unable to leave the home
  • You are unable to make a private phone call for help, support or advice
  • You may be worried about your partners behaviour and the safety of you and your family

What you can do

If you're being abused, or think you could be make sure you get access to support and stay safe.

Please refer to the list of our support services and contacts which you can use to access support.

  • Remember that you are not to blame for the abuse you are experiencing.
  • Can you contact someone you trust (family, friend or neighbour) about what you are experiencing?
  • Ask someone you trust to make regular 'check in' phone calls
  • Look after your own mental health
  • Develop a safety plan. Women's Aid have some guidance on how to do this.
  • If you have children, teach them to call 999 in an emergency situation and what they would need to say (their name, address and phone number)  
  • If your relationship cannot be managed and you feel the need to urgently flee your home, because you are in immediate danger, you should do so regardless of being in self-isolation.

Key points to remember

  1. Support is available whether you are still in the relationship or not and if you are in danger, you can leave.
  2. Refuges are still open and there are spaces available should you need it.
  3. Don't feel as if your situation is any less important during this time in comparison to other arising issues.
  4. It is not fair and it is not your fault.
  5. Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses a person could be under and you do not need to feel as if this behaviour should be accepted

Are you worried about someone who you suspect may be experiencing domestic abuse?

Please look out for your neighbours during this difficult time as they may be unable to protect themselves.

Call 999 if you are worried about somebody's safety, otherwise call 101 to report any concerns

Are you worried about hurting someone?

If you are worried about hurting the ones you love while staying at home, call the Respect phone line for support and help to manage your behaviour.

Telephone helpline is available from 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0808 802 4040.

Webchat is available Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 10am - 11am and 3pm - 4pm on the Respect website.

Domestic Abuse Video

Campaigns

#YouAreNotAlone

The Home Office launched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign which aims to reassure anyone at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, they can still leave and seek refuge. Under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, it aims to create a community around those affected and reassure victims that support remains available.

#NoExcuseforAbuse  

The Respect Phoneline has launched the #NoExcuseForAbuse campaign which is aimed at perpetrators of domestic abuse and their key message is that the lockdown is not an excuse

Useful links