Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Help is at hand for anyone experiencing domestic abuse over Christmas

At Christmas the risk of domestic abuse increases but help is at hand for those who are suffering.

In West Lancashire if you are experiencing domestic abuse help is available locally. We would encourage you to trust your gut instinct and approach these services if you feel in any way unsafe about a relationship. If you are in immediate danger you should dial 999 and ask for the emergency services.

The Liberty Centre provides many services for all victims of domestic abuse. They offer emergency accommodation to women, men and children, counselling and support for anyone affected by domestic abuse. They can be contacted on their free confidential 24-hour helpline number 0808 100 3062 or on 01695 50600. More information is available at https://thelibertycentre.org.uk/ with LiveChat every day or on https://www.facebook.com/LibertyCentreWestLancs and https://www.instagram.com/libertycentrewl/.

Lancashire Victim Services offers emotional support, information and practical help to victims and witnesses in West Lancashire as well as across the county. Anyone who needs support can call 0300 323 085, email info@lancashirevictimservices.org or visit https://lancashirevictimservices.org/.

Our website www.westlancs.gov.uk/domesticviolence has more details about services and gives details of Don't Be A Bystander. This is a flagship campaign against domestic abuse which encourages witnesses of domestic abuse to come forward to the police or charities such as the Liberty Centre.

Heidi McDougall, West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership chairperson, added: “Victims of domestic abuse will have faced extra problems during the pandemic and Christmas is a time when they can be at an even greater risk. We want them to know help is available to them in their hour of need."

Councillor Gareth Dowling, portfolio holder for communities and community safety, said: "We also urge witnesses of such abuse including psychological, economic, sexual, tech and physical abuse, violence or coercive control to come forward and speak out for those that are unable to report any problems to the Police.”

Note to editors: The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number, run by Refuge, is 0808 2000 247. This is a freephone number and confidential helpline which is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year, including over the Christmas period. Help is also available through the website www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk, on which people can fill in a webform to request a safe time to be called back or use the National Domestic Abuse Helpline's live chat service, Mon-Fri, 3pm-10pm.