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Posted on 14 April 2020

SafeNet Launch New Live Chat Service to Provide Extra Support to Victims of Domestic Abuse During COVID-19 Pandemic

SafeNet Domestic Abuse and Support Services have launched a new online live chat service today which will allow victims and survivors of abuse, who are trapped at home during the COVID 19 crisis, to access direct support from experienced domestic abuse support workers.

The chat service is now available seven days a week on both the SafeNet and Lancashire Refuges websites. The new platform gives those who need help the option to discuss their situation 1:1 with a support worker and seek advice discreetly and confidentially.

SafeNet’s domestic abuse support services continue to operate safe refuge accommodation and numerous safe houses, which are in even greater demand during these unprecedented times.  The current stay-at-home measures have further reduced opportunities to access help via agency referrals and phone calls for those in abusive and controlling situations.

SafeNet support staff will be available on-line to provide practical and emotional support, to discuss options available, including refuge places, safe house accommodation, sign posting, risk assessing and safety planning, but most of all to be there for anyone who is scared and at risk, to listen and support.

There has been an alarming rise in DA cases since the Governments stay-at-home measures began in the UK on 23 March, with increases of 25 percent being reported in some areas.  With that in mind, it’s critical that people know that they can still access help and will not be punished by the authorities should they need to escape abuse and violence at home, if they need emergency assistance, regardless of the social distancing measures that are currently in place.

Helen Gauder, Managing Director at SafeNet said: “We decided to launch this new service in response to the added difficulties victims and survivors face during this COVID 19 crisis.  We know that victims and survivors need new, safe alternative ways to access support and essential services, as domestic abuse is increasing as the stay-at-home measures impact in dangerous homes.  We will continue to develop and extend our services and provide additional safe accommodation services as the crisis deepens.

“It’s important for us to reach out, to help as many people as we can, especially those who are living in particularly vulnerable circumstances, such as being isolated with their abuser(s) and having limited contact with the outside world.”

The live chat service is available everyday during three dedicated timeslots; 10am – 12pm, 2pm – 4pm and 8pm – 10pm.

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