Support for Northumberland domestic abuse victims during pandemic - here's how to access help

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A Northumberland-based charity helping victims of domestic abuse has emphasised that it is still offering support during the coronavirus shut-down.

While it has had to drop face-to-face contact, Northumberland Domestic Abuse Services (NDAS) is continuing to provide support to residents by phone and online.

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There are widespread concerns that there will be an increase of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 outbreak while people are being urged to stay at home, with children off school and many adults not working.

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Picture c/o PixabayPicture c/o Pixabay
Picture c/o Pixabay

Service manager Karen Richardson said: "At this time, we are continuing to provide support to victims of abuse living in Northumberland by telephone, WhatsApp, email, etc; the method is determined by the service user.

"We are supporting children via the non-abusive parent, providing them with understanding of the effects of abuse on children and giving them tips and information to allow them to support their children. Older children with capacity and consent can receive support if they want to talk."

Explaining the additional issues currently, Karen added: "We have concerns around social isolation, with those living with abuse ‘trapped’ at home, with added stresses with children at home, potentially exposing them to more abuse.

"An additional huge concern is that those living with abuse can no longer access support as the offender is with them 24/7."

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Workers at the Hexham-based charity usually see their service users in public places for safety, but these areas are no longer available.

However, Karen is keen to spread the message that NDAS is still available to support victims of abuse and they can call 01434 608030 between 10am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, leaving a voicemail if the response worker is on another call. Alternatively, visit

Northumbria Police is also emphasising that help and support is available.

Detective Superintendent Deborah Alderson, of the safeguarding department, said: "We know that home is not a safe place for those experiencing domestic abuse and the much-needed respite often provided by work and school may no longer be available.

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"Isolation is already a tool used by abusers. Therefore, we can expect that self-isolation and social distancing will be used to coerce and control victims. It will also inevitably close off community support networks.

"If your home is not a safe environment then we urge you to seek support, to contact police. We will do everything we can do to support you which can include finding safe accommodation for you and your children or removing abusers from homes."

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