Knowsley Council and Merseyside Police are urging residents not to suffer in silence if they are experiencing domestic abuse.
This comes after Merseyside Police shared that in the last two weeks, three families are struggling to come to terms with the loss of family members due to domestic abuse. The three women, aged 20, 54 and 77 years from Liverpool, Southport and Heswall show that domestic abuse is not unique to any age group or demographic.
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley, said: “My thoughts are with the three women who have tragically lost their lives as a result of domestic violence and I know that nothing I say will heal the pain their families are suffering. But I hope that by speaking out today that if there any victims of domestic abuse who need help that they will come forward and let us know.
“This year particularly has been challenging for everyone, but for victims of domestic abuse who are suffering from continued cruelty and violence it must be intolerable. For abusers it is easier for them to coerce or physically abuse their victims, who are probably feeling more isolated and alone than they would under normal circumstances. And I can’t stress enough that if your home is not a safe place for you, then we want you to know that you are not alone and you do not have to stay at home if it is not safe to be there.”
Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, added: “It’s a stressful time for us all, but for some people, being asked to stay at home presents even more challenges and anxiety. We really don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but it’s important that those residents who are suffering from domestic abuse know that help is available to them. My message is clear – you are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence.”
There are several ways you can find help if you need it:
In an emergency call 999
Ask for Ani
The Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) scheme allows those at risk or suffering from abuse to discreetly signal that they need help and access support. By asking for ANI, a trained pharmacy worker will offer a private space where they can understand if the victim needs to speak to the police or would like help to access support services such as a national or local domestic abuse helplines. You can read more here
This is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger and escalation of harm if they are overheard when calling 999 in an emergency. When somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If 55 is pressed by the caller, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency. (Please note, you must not dial 999 then press 55 immediately – the operator must be able to hear that there is somebody on the line prior to the pressing of the keys – if you can tap the headset or cough to make your presence known).
Thinking of Leaving?
At the moment leaving might feel particularly difficult and you might be worried about having to leave your home in an emergency. If possible, pack an emergency bag for you and your children and keep it somewhere safe. Try to include essential things such as medication, identification, money or cards and essential clothing for you and your children.
Due to self-isolation staying with family and friends might not be an option, but Knowsley Housing Options can be contacted to advise you on your options. Visit www.knowsleyhousingoptions.org, call
0800 694 0280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support for Knowsley residents
If you are a Knowsley resident and are experiencing domestic abuse or believe someone you know is, please contact one of the following agencies:
Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
Tel: 0151 443 2600
Knowsley Early Help Hub
Freephone helpline on 0800 073 0043 and ask for your information to be passed onto the Early Help Hub and one of our staff will call you back. Or you could complete the online form by clicking the ask for help and support on this link.
The First Step (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 548 3333