We are committed to doing all we can to safeguard everyone who accesses and delivers our services. In light of the extension of self-isolation and social distancing guidance, our offices are now closed.
We are still providing support to people across Gwent remotely, via phone and email, and encourage everyone to look after themselves and each other using the information and links on this page.
Anyone in need of direct support should contact us via the phone number or email address for their nearest office. Individuals’ details will be taken by a member of our administrative team and a support worker will get back to them as soon as possible (within office hours).
This page has been put together to help you stay safe and well during this period. We will continue to update it with advice around safety planning and maintaining well-being. Please get in touch if you would like us to add any additional information.
Safety Planning Advice:
If you feel you are in immediate danger:
- RING 999
- If you cannot speak due to being isolated with your abusive partner, dial 999 and press 55. This will signal to the operator that you need help but you’re unable to talk.
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and on you at all times.
Make use of specialist support:
- Download the Hollie Guard App or Bright Sky App on your phone.
- Get in touch with us via phone or email or contact the Live Fear Free Helpline if you can do so safely
- Keep other useful contact information handy, e.g. Social worker/children’s school/solicitor/GP
Stay one step ahead at home:
- If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house – for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid rooms where you could be locked inside or trapped (e.g. bathroom); do not hide in rooms in your home without windows big enough for you to climb out of.
- Avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons; or anywhere you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
- Place knives and scissors in hard to reach places. Get rid of the counter top knife rack. If the abuser asks, say “it’s for the children’s safety”.
- Be aware that going upstairs can mean you are vulnerable to being thrown downstairs.
- Be mindful that you are particularly vulnerable when you are combing you hair, using hair straighteners or cleaning with acid based products.
If you have children:
- Have your child pick a safe room/place in the house, preferably with a lock on the door and a phone. The first step of any plan is the get the children out of the room where the abuse is occurring.
- Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number)
- Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children can get away safely.
Who could help you?
- Are there neighbours you could trust? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack.
- Work out a signal system with a neighbour or friend; consider a code word to tell the children to leave.
- Agree a code word or action with a friend so he/she knows you are in danger and cannot access help yourself.
Be aware of the added risks around alcohol:
- Don’t drink alcohol together as the probability of a violent attack increases. If he or she insists, try and pour some lemonade into your drink. Alcohol reduces your ability to run, defend yourself and escape. You cannot reason with a drunk person. Don’t try to tell them what to do. If they are starting to pick on you then make a decision for them to get out of their way.
- Keep them fed and watered (If someone has the abusing personality and they are hungry and drunk, then probability of violence increases ten fold). If they are drinking alcohol make sure they eat something too. It will stop them from getting really drunk, it may help you.
Be mindful of your safety at all times:
- Keep your head up and look around you, and every now and again look behind you. Gather information, and use your eyes and ears. Anticipate problems before they arise. Think Safety Plan.
Please remember: if you need support in relation to any form of Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse or Sexual Violence you can contact us
Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Support Links and Resources
Domestic Abuse Support:
- Live Fear Free Helpline: Wales-wide helpline for support around violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence
- The Freedom Programme: a domestic violence programme, created by Pat Craven
Sexual Violence Support:
- Horizon Sexual Violence Services self-help booklet: supporting survivors to manage trauma while awaiting counselling
- SARSAS self-help guides (Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support)
- My Little Book of Coping Methods by Roisin Ross and The PEACH Diaries
- Survivors Trust self-help links
Wellbeing Information and Resources
Self-help resources for maintaining health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic:
- Looking after yourself; looking after your children – resource from Monmouthshire County Council (including general wellbeing information and home education guidance)
- Coping, Resilience and Wellbeing in Uncertain Times – resources collated by Adams Psychology Services
- Information from the Samaritans
- ‘Get Self-help’ information
- MIND guidance
- Anxiety UK Coronanxiety support resources
General mental health self-help guidance:
- Aneurin Bevan UHB Road to Wellbeing
- NHS anxiety self-help guide
- Pocket Mindfulness
- Blurt: Increasing Awareness and Understanding of Depression
- Living Life to The Full: Online courses for stress, anxiety and depression
- Happiness course by Yale university: a very popular course which has been made free to access
Resources for children:
- Young Minds
- NSPCC: Childline Calm Zone
- Blue Ice App – evidenced-based app to help young people manage their emotions
- www.mindheart.co/descargables – Resource to explain the virus to children under 10 and available in different languages
- Young Persons Covid-19 Survival Pack – from Cardiff & Vale UHB: Child Health Psychology
- We Need to Talk about Children’s Mental Health – blog about helping children cope with the ‘new normal’
- Keep Your Head
- Public Health Wales website: for the latest information and guidance re. Coronavirus (Covid-19)
- COVID 19 Mutual Aid UK – a searchable database of local groups supporting vulnerable people
- Citizens Advice Guidance re. Coronavirus (Covid-19)