New 'Silent Solution' campaign launched for Northamptonshire sexual and domestic abuse victims

If you cannot use the phone, there are other ways to seek help quietly

Eight new staff members have joined forced at NDAS during lockdown and are on hand to help victims.
Eight new staff members have joined forced at NDAS during lockdown and are on hand to help victims.

Northamptonshire domestic and sexual abuse charities have joined forces to launch a new campaign for victims to get help silently and to encourage third-parties to report incidents on behalf of a loved one in a difficult situation.

For those suffering from domestic abuse lockdown can be a very dangerous time with very little opportunity to leave the home or find a quiet space away from the perpetrator.

Northamptonshire Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse (NADASA) have launched new ways of calling for help.

It is important victims of domestic and sexual abuse know where to turn during lockdown and new services have been launched to give them support.

These include an online chat service, Facebook messenger, text service and email as calls for help each week have worryingly dropped.

"We have lots of different ways where people don't have to necessarily speak to people over-the-phone," Zoe Tatham from Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service (NDAS) said.

"If you're isolating with your abuser how do you ring a helpline? We are trying to find different ways to reach people.

"Our website traffic and social media engagement is up and we know logically that domestic abuse is going to be on the rise because you are in a pressure cooker at home."

Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service thinks lockdown has stopped many opportunities where victims would usually call for help and are urging third-party friends or family to get in touch with charities like NDAS for support if they can identify someone who is potentially at risk of being abused.

One way of doing this is to send a safe word or emoji to a trusted family or friend who will know that symbol means and will ring the police immediately.

Other helpful advice is to always have your phone charged, try and stay next to exits if you can and use support networks like NDAS who also offer a 24 hour advice line on 03000120154.

"There's no breathing space, people aren't going to work generally and taking their kids to school," Zoe added.

"The children might be witnessing more than they might have done as they're not going to school as an outlet.

Pre-lockdown staff were receiving up to 40 calls each week on their helpline was reduced to about 20 throughout April.

Everything discussed with advisers is kept completely confidential from police.

But if there is a safeguarding concern raised it could be reported to social care.

"Refuge spaces have been pretty full since lockdown started in the county.

"The need has always far outstripped what we can provide but it's even more so now because of additional pressures, it's more oversubscribed than it was originally."

If you need to seek advice on behalf of a loved one or want to call the charity, you can do so anonymously.

Use the NDAS online chat at www.ndas.co

Text Eve on 07827239496Email NDAS at [email protected]

Email Eve at [email protected]

In an emergency always call 999 - if you call on your mobile and can't speak, press 55 to alert the operator.

Visit nadasa.co.uk for a full list of local services.