Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting everyone's day to day life. But for a victim and their children experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse, the impact is significant and can put them in danger. Social distancing and isolation means victims and their children are now left with the prospect of being isolated in their house with the perpetrator.
We know that victims and their families are worried about accommodation, emotional wellbeing, negotiating child contact, accessing welfare benefits, as well as their safety and that of their children. Middlesbrough Council in partnership with our domestic abuse specialist services want to reassure you and your family that we're still here and that services, although they might be delivered differently, are still available. You still have options and we will do everything to help you.
Middlesbrough's domestic abuse specialist services are offering support remotely via phone or email, and are all still available to accept referrals.
If you're a neighbour, friend, or family member, and think someone might be at risk, please report your concerns or get advice from the services listed below.
My Sisters Place
Please contact reception on 01642 241864 for advice, or the counselling service on 01642 256036 for counselling queries.
If you need support, you can use one of the following methods:
Phone: 01642 241864 or 07873 321371
Facebook messaging is available via the My Sisters Place Facebook page.
Harbour Support Services
Harbour Support Services is still very much open for business, and can be contacted on its usual number by professionals and members of the public. Their refuge projects are still operating, and staff are offering support to clients on the phone, through WhatsApp messaging and video chat, and through their Facebook page.
To contact Harbour:
Phone: 03000 20 25 25
Arch North East
Phone: 01642 822331
Phone: 01642 683045
Homelessness advice and assistance
If you're facing homelessness due to domestic abuse in Middlesbrough, you can contact Thirteen's Housing Advice Service on 0800 130 3667 (freephone).
Or get in touch via:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thirteen website
- Thirteen self-service portal
- Thirteen Facebook page
If you're worried about an adult experiencing domestic abuse, speak to the adult safeguarding team.
Phone: 01642 065070
Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm, and 8:30am to 4:30pm on Friday
Any other time, contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01642 524552.
If you're worried about a child who might be witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse, speak to Children's Services (South Tees Multi-Agency Children's Hub)
Phone: 01642 130700
Refuge - the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Phone: 0808 2000 247
Women's Aid - webchat service
Women's Aid website (Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm)
Men's Advice Line (Respect) - helpline for male victims of domestic abuse
Phone: 0808 8010327 (Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 8pm, and Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Safety tips for victims
Contact the police by calling 999 if you're in immediate danger.
Police won't automatically be sent if you stay silent on a 999 phone call. If you can, cough or tap the phone to make a noise and let the operator know you're there. If you can't do that, your call will be sent through an automated system (Silent Solutions) and you'll need to press 55 to tell the system that you need help. This will let the police know you're in danger.
Identify safe spaces within your home.
Try to keep a mobile phone with you at all times.
Download the Bright Sky app on your phone which can help you access support and get valuable information.
If you have a smartphone you can download the Hollie Guard app which can help someone identify your location.
Agree a code word with family and friends so they could get help to you in an emergency or if you feel like you're at increased risk.
Pack an emergency bag with essential things like medication, identification, money or cards, in case you need to leave. Include essential clothing for you and your children.
If you decide to leave, you can contact either the specialist services listed or the Homeless Advice Service so they can try and help you access a refuge or temporary accommodation. If you're self-isolating, please tell the service at the earliest opportunity so they can work out the most appropriate option for you.
If you need an injunction or help to protect you, this support is still available can be accessed via specialist services or local solicitors.