If you or someone else is in immediate danger or at serious risk of harm, you are advised to call the police on 999.
If you don’t tell anyone about abuse, it is likely to continue and get worse over time. Telling someone, a friend, family member or one of the organisations listed on this page is important. By telling someone you will be able to start protecting yourself and your children. There are many different agencies you can call depending on the help you need.
If you’re at risk of domestic abuse, remember the Silent Solution. In danger, need the police, but can’t speak? You can still make yourself heard.
The Silent Solution system enables a mobile caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted. This lets the police know the person has a genuine emergency.
- Dial 999
- Listen to the questions from the 999 operator
- Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
- If prompted, press 55. This lets the call operator know it’s a genuine emergency and you’ll be put through to the police.
For more information go to Make Yourself Heard.
Hollie Guard App
Hollie Guard is a free app for smartphones that has been designed to protect both men and women from possible danger. Hollie Guard turns your smartphone into an advanced personal safety device at the touch of a button.
If in danger, simply shake your phone to generate an alert. Your location, audio, and video evidence of the incident will automatically be sent to your emergency contact via text and email. Shake it again and it sends out a high pitched alarm and the flash starts to strobe, to attract the greatest attention. From the moment Hollie Guard is activated, your location is tracked and can be viewed in real time by your emergency contact.
See Hollie Gazzard Trust to learn more about the trust and the free Hollie Guard smartphone app.
The most dangerous time for a person in an abusive relationship is when they are considering leaving, or have they just left. Anyone thinking about this is advised to call one of the support services for help and advice.
A safety plan is vital whether you intend to stay or to leave and should include the following:
- arrange where you might go if you have to leave urgently
- find places where you can quickly and safely use the telephone
- if you have children, teach them how to dial 999 and make up a code word that you can use when you need help
- carry a discreet list of telephone numbers for support services and friends
- try to save money so that you have bus or taxi fares in an emergency
- get an extra set of keys for the house and car and keep these in a safe place, with money and anything else you may need should you have to leave quickly
- talk to your children and let them know it is not their fault
- talk to trusted friends, relatives, your doctor or nurse about how you feel
- consider opening a savings account in your name
- always try to take your children with you. Or make arrangements to leave them somewhere safe if this is not possible
- make plans for pets, if you are unable to take them with you
- consider visiting the Law Centre or a solicitor to discuss what options are available to you
- try to do things which would get you out of the house, such as walking your dog, putting out the rubbish or going to the shops to practice how you would leave
- consider leaving a bag with a trusted friend or relative containing the items you would need if you had to leave urgently. Also consider who may lend you money in an emergency.
Tips for digital safety
Technology is an integral part of our lives. It can be an important source of support and safety information for victims of abuse. But, it can provide abusers with tools and opportunities to control, track, and abuse.
- Consider your digital footprint – Update security and restrict visibility of the technology in your life.
- Be password savvy – Change user names and passwords. Even if you don’t think that the accounts have been compromised.
- Check security settings – Update security settings on social media accounts. This is so that only the people who you want to connect with can see your posts, photos and information.
- Be aware of location settings – Lots of apps and software record information about your geographical location. This information could be misused by someone with access to your accounts/devices. Check which apps are using location settings and then turn off any that you don’t need.
- Tracking apps – Apps that you have installed by yourself, which another person then accesses information from. Consider turning off tracking apps when not in use. For example: ‘find my friends/phone/tablet’, GPS fitness trackers, sat nav.
- Joint accounts – Consider any connected or joint accounts that may have been installed on more than one device. It could give someone access to your information or devices. This could include accounts for: iTunes, app stores, Google Play store, eBay, Amazon, Kindle and others.
- Secure your home Wi-Fi network – A person may be able to access your devices from your Wi-Fi whether they are in your home or not. Change your login details and password so that your network cannot be accessed without your knowledge.
- Be camera aware – Cameras and devices can be accessed remotely or activated by apps. Cover the webcam on your computer/tablet when not in use.
Organisations that can help:
- Barnardo's – Supporting children affected by domestic abuse call 0800 008 7005
- Refuge and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline – provide 24-hour support, help and information, call 0808 200 0247
- Women's Aid – domestic abuse aid for women and children you can chat online or email. See their Survivor's Handbook for more support
Hourglass – a charity that works with elderly victims of abuse call 0808 808 8141
- Galop (Formerly Broken Rainbow) – specialist LGBT and anti-violence charity call 0800 999 5428
- Men’s Advice Line – supports male victims of domestic violence call 0808 801 0327
- Isle of Wight Safeguarding Partnership – if you're worried about a child call 0300 300 0117
- IW Adults Safeguarding Team – helps adults with care and support needs who are at risk of domestic abuse call 01983 814980
- Southall Black Sisters – offer specialist advice, information, casework, advocacy, counselling and self-help support for Asian and African-Caribbean women Services are available in several community languages, call 02085 710800
- Karma Nirvana – Karma Nirvana’s staff and most of its volunteers are survivors of forced marriage and HBV call 0800 599 9247
- Hampton Trust – works with perpetrators to break the cycle of abuse, conflict and exploitation call 02380 009898.