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Covid-19 Primary Care Resources

Domestic Abuse

Household isolation instructions do not apply for patients escaping domestic abuse

This information is sourced from the Home Office and Refuge:

Self-isolation has the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours by perpetrators:

  • Women and children are likely to be spending concentrated periods of time with perpetrators, potentially escalating the threat of domestic abuse (physical, technological, economic, sexual, or coercive control) and further restricting their freedom
  • Isolation is already used by many perpetrators as a tool of control
  • Lines of communication could be severely limited if women are unable to leave the home
  • Self-isolation instructions as a result of coronavirus do not apply for patients escaping domestic abuse

Support for Victims of Domestic Abuse:

Refuge has a Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

The Home Office website has contact details of multiple services to support multiple different groups including:

Women, men, members of the LGBT+ community, non english speakers. They have details of sexual assault referral centres, ‘honour’-based abuse organisations, BME specialist services, disability specialist services, children’s services and phonelines for perpetrators

Advising a patient on calling for help:

  • If someone is in danger they should call 999
  • It is always best to speak to the operator if they can, even by whispering. They may also be asked to cough or tap the phone keys in response to questions
  • If unable to speak when calling 999 from a landline, the call will be automatically be transferred to the police
  • If calling from a mobile and unable to talk, when prompted pressing 55 will transfer their call to the police
  • Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track location
  • When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about location should be automatically available to the call handlers


Published: 18/03/2020
Published: 14/04/2020