Safer 6 - Domestic abuse help is at hand during COVID-19

Published 5th October 2020

Anyone at risk of domestic abuse during the current coronavirus restrictions is being reassured that help is at hand.

Sandwell’s Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership are taking part in Safer 6: Domestic Abuse Awareness Week (5 - 11 October) as part of the six-week Safer Sandwell Partnership campaign. Partnership organisations continue to operate, providing safety advice and emotional support to those at risk.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

The Partnership is once again sharing Tina’s Story which Tina’s sister made to help other families. Tina was murdered by her partner in 2017. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour. He was jailed for life for a minimum of 24 years for her murder.

How do you know if this is happening to you?

Some common examples of coercive behaviour are:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
  • Monitoring your time
  • Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware
  • Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
  • Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services
  • Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless
  • Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you
  • Controlling your finances
  • Making threats or intimidating you.

Black Country Women’s Aid are putting on Community Champions Training during Safer 6 Domestic Abuse Awareness Week. There are two dates and a total of 30 spaces available on Wednesday (7 October) and Thursday (8 October). To find out more visit the Eventbrite website and search for 'Become a Community Champion with Black Country Women's Aid' or visit the Black Country Women's Aid website

Councillor Farut Shaeen, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for living healthy lives, said: “Domestic abuse is never acceptable in any circumstance but it is perhaps even more terrifying for victims when they are living in such close proximity to the perpetrators. Please be assured that victims of domestic abuse are an absolute priority for the Police and support agencies."

Sandwell Council Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: "Restrictions are in place to save lives and protect the NHS during the current coronavirus pandemic.

"But we are only too aware that not every home is a safe one and during this period, there is a heightened risk of domestic abuse. If anyone is experiencing domestic abuse or is at risk then help is here.

"Sandwell Council and our partner organisations are continuing to provide critical services to our residents when they need them most."

Useful contacts

Black Country Women’s Aid can provide support to victims of domestic abuse. 

  • Call the 24-hour helpline on 0121 552 6448
  • Text or WhatsApp on 07384 466 181 (9am – 9pm Monday – Friday)
  • Black Country Women's Aid website
  • Call 999 in an emergency
  • If you are worried about your behaviour towards others, call the Respect Helpline on 0808 802 4040

For more information visit the council's domestic abuse webpage