- Domestic Abuse Nationwide lockdowns to stem the spread of a coronavirus outbreak may have additional consequences for a number of people in the UK including an increase in abuse and domestic violence. Women’s Aid confirms that “self-isolation is likely to shutdown routes to support and safety for many women, who may face even greater barriers to finding time away from their perpetrator to seek help” (Women’s Aid, March 2020) If you feel that you may be at risk of abuse or violence please check out the information below to support you. If you are in immediate danger call 999 as soon as possible.Due to a rise in domestic abuse cases during the lockdown, the Government guidelines have changed and you can now go to stay with a friend or family member for a few days or longer (no less than 48 hours) if you need to leave your environment for your own safety and well-being. You can also follow the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone to support victims of domestic abuse.
What is abuse? Abuse can be in many forms; it can be controlling behaviour, emotional, verbal or physical abuse, financial or sexual abuse, threats, forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) or any other type of behaviour which may make you feel distressed. Abusers can be partners, family members or even friends; there is no typical perpetrator or victim. Almost 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men aged 16-59 years will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime (Office for National Statistics (2019) Domestic abuse in England and Wales overview. November 2019) so it is important to recognise that you are not alone and it is never too late to seek help and support.
Bereavement Bereavement is the loss of a loved one through death and can be one of the worst experiences someone can have. Following the death of a loved one people may also experience a lot of change which can further impact on the process of grief and loss and sometimes peoples lives may change completely. It is important to remember that grief and bereavement are important processes and although difficult, they often highlight how much love you had for the person or people that you have lost. Cruse Bereavement Care provide support, advice and guidance when coping with loss. Visit www.cruse.org.uk/get-help for more information or call their free helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Coping with addiction Isolation during the COVID19 outbreak may impact on addiction or recovery from addiction. Some support services are currently providing online meetings, consultation, information and support.
Sexual Health In response to COVID19 many sexual health services have been restricted and you may struggle to access them. However, if you are experiencing isolation during the next few weeks it is important to stock up on items to ensure safe sexual health. Condoms, femidoms and lubricant are available in all supermarkets and stores so make sure you stock up when you are able to. If you are under the age of 25 there are options available to you to get contraception for free such as a C-Card.
If you are concerned about running out of the contraceptive pill, ring or patch contact your GP as soon as possible to arrange for a prescription. If you do run out you can use condoms or femidoms to protect from pregnancy. Remember that only condoms and femidoms protect from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s).
If you are concerned about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) during isolation you can order a Chlamydia screening kit to be sent to your home address by clicking on this link and completing the online form https://www.freetest.me/ . If you have concerns about other STI’s and/or have symptoms please contact your GP to discuss, alternatively you can visit www.brook.org.uk to be signposted to your nearest sexual health service.