Anglia Care Trust (ACT), in partnership with Suffolk County Council have launched a free, 24/7 Suffolk Domestic Abuse helpline: 0800 977 5690. The National Domestic Abuse helpline reported recently that, since the start of lockdown, they have received more than 40,000 calls and contacts, with an 800% increase in June. Working with our partners we want to offer a more direct, local solution enabling victims in Suffolk to get direct support, advice and action.
Domestic abuse takes many forms – similar to COVID-19 it’s a hidden danger, and sometimes a hidden killer. Although domestic abuse is usually synonymous with violence, often physical abuse is not a factor at all. Many survivors suffer coercive control: their abuser will isolate them from friends and family and will make them feel as if the abuse is their own fault. Financial abuse is another form – the perpetrator will take control of all household income and will restrict access to any money. Psychological abuse takes many forms and, very often, the survivor hides the abuse just as much as someone that’s been physically harmed, as they are made to believe they have caused the behaviour.
Survivors of domestic abuse can be any age, any gender, any ethnicity, religion or sexuality. The traditional view of domestic abuse is that the victim will be a female and the abuser will be a male. Michelle Eaves, Operational Manager for Community Safety with ACT explains:
“Working with survivors of domestic abuse, we provide support, advice and action for males as well as females; there are a surprising amount of male victims who in some cases find it more difficult to reach out for help. It’s also not just a partner to partner issue; we have parents who are abused by their children, and take calls from friends worried about someone suffering abuse.”
The Suffolk Domestic Abuse helpline is there for everyone – sufferers/survivors of domestic abuse; friends, family or colleagues of survivors; and for professionals needing advice – please pass the number on and let people know that they are not alone – this may just be someone’s lifeline: 0800 977 5690