You Are Not Alone - No child or adult should be made to feel unsafe. Everyone has the right to be safe from harm and abuse and everyone has a role to play in safeguarding - especially during the COVID 19 Pandemic. Vulnerable children and adults may be particularly isolated at the moment meaning that family, community and professional networks that they usually rely on may not be available or might be hard to access. At the same time, living under the current circumstances may increase the pressures that contribute to abuse and neglect or allow it to go unseen. Everybody plays a vital role in keeping children and adults safe. Recognising signs of potential harm or abuse and knowing what to do if you have a concern can make a real difference. Abuse and neglect can fall under a number of categories including domestic, physical, psychological and/or emotional, economic or sexual. Although not exhaustive, some signs to look out for include; unusual injuries (including bruises, burns, fractures, bite marks or signs of self-harm), consistently poor hygiene, poor living conditions, or inappropriate clothing, communicating aggressively or unusual sexual language, appearing withdrawn, guarded, anxious or frightened (particularly around certain individuals), hearing or seeing shouting, violence or intimidation, adults keeping children, or adults in need of support from view and unsupervised children visiting a house where only adults live.
If you have any concerns that you or someone you know is experiencing any form of abuse or neglect, the NHS website has lots of advice which can be accessed here and a help page for people who have been sexually assaulted or raped which is accessible here. The 24 hour domestic abuse helpline is a freephone number available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can be accessed by phoning 0808 2000 247. If there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or if it is an emergency, always dial 999. Finally the Government website has a detailed webpage here where you can find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse. The page also details the "ANI" (pronounced like the name Annie) scheme which stands for Action Needed Immediately and is a scheme in participating pharmacies designed for those experiencing domestic abuse and in need of immediate help. If a pharmacy has the Ask for ANI logo displayed it means that they are ready to help - a private space will be offered and a phone provided and they will ask if you need support from the police or other domestic support services.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, or know someone who you believe to be in danger, then you are not alone and there are dedicated support services available.
If it is an emergency then please dial 999 straight away in this instance.
We have detailed below some useful numbers for support organisations dedicated for victims of domestic abuse and violence:
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Refuge 24 Hour Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Men's Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
The Silent Solution (silent calls to mobiles that can be made by anyone in acute danger where speaking may increase the risk): https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/research-learning/Silent_solution_guide.pdf
SMS 999 Service (this must be registered for in advance before use): https://www.emergencysms.net/
Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership: