North Yorkshire Police pledges support for domestic violence victims ahead of lockdown
North Yorkshire Police has pledged support for domestic violence ahead of a second lockdown, which begins at midnight tonight (Wed).
Det Supt Allan Harder, Lead for Safeguarding for the force, is keen to ensure anyone suffering at the hands of their partner knows there is help out there, despite the new restrictions coming in.
"On Saturday, the Prime Minister announced a new set of national restrictions which will apply from Thursday, November 5," he said.
"Once again, we will be required to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS against the threat of Covid-19.
"He also mentioned a specific set of exemptions around when you are able to leave home, one of which was the need to escape injury or harm.
"I know for those living in fear of violence and abuse, the thought of entering another lockdown period and having to live in close proximity with an abusive partner or family member is terrifying.
"That’s why I wanted to be sure that victims know now, that if at any time over the next four weeks you are in fear for your safety, you do not have to stay at home and that you can seek help and support from North Yorkshire Police.
"Despite the impending restrictions, we will respond to you and we will continue to work with our partners at IDAS, Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire, City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council to keep you safe.
“Over the previous lockdown period, a number of our safeguarding partners adapted the way in which they could provide ongoing support to those living with domestic abuse, making many services available online and increasing their telephone capability.
"Please know that these services are still open and available and you will still be able access help, support and advice from police, your local council and agencies such as IDAS and Supporting Victims over the forthcoming lockdown period.
“Details of support services and how to access them are available on the North Yorkshire Police website - and, as ever, if you are in fear for your safety dial 999 and we will respond to you.
“It may also be prudent to start preparing for the next few weeks now and consider developing a safety plan.
"Our partners at IDAS have really useful advice on their website about safety planning.
"Think about setting up a support network now and make an arrangement with a friend or neighbour to ‘check-in’ with them by text or phone each day of lockdown so they know you are safe or if not, can raise an alarm.
"Have any important or emergency numbers such as your GP, social worker or solicitor to hand – for reference the IDAS phone number is 03000 110 110.
"Consider an escape plan, or a place in your home which may be a safer place to shelter if you feel threatened.
"It’s best to avoid anywhere like the kitchen or garage where there may be items which could be used against you.
"Remember you can leave your home at any time, if you are in fear of injury or harm.
“For many of us the next four weeks, if not the rest of the year, will be a very trying and turbulent time.
"Please do not live in silence with domestic abuse – please reach out and access support services.
"There are a number of professionals from a number of agencies standing by, ready to help you. Please pick up the phone, or go online and contact someone.”
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