Help and support still available for victims of domestic abuse
Published 17th May 2021
Sandwell Council and the Sandwell Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership continue to provide support to those at risk of domestic abuse.
As Covid-19 lockdown measures ease, Sandwell Council and the Sandwell Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership continue to provide support to those at risk of all forms of domestic abuse, ensuring that those needing help and services can access them locally.
Sandwell Council has compiled details of support services and practical information at www.sandwell.gov.uk/domesticabuse
Victims, or those who are aware of domestic abuse, should always call 999 in an emergency.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse can include different kinds of abuse. These can include one or more of the following: coercive and controlling behaviour; physical assault; economic abuse; psychological abuse; sexual violence/abuse, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour-based’ abuse, female genital mutilation, stalking and harassment.
The abuse can be perpetrated by one person having power or control over another which gets worse over a period of time. In cases of forced marriage or ‘honour-based’ abuse, members of the wider family or community may be involved.
A forced marriage is one entered into without the full and free consent of both partners, and it is different to an arranged marriage: the former is a criminal offence and an abuse of human rights. It is not a cultural tradition.
Who is affected by domestic abuse?
In most cases it is women who are domestically abused by men, but anyone can be a victim, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. Help and support is available in Sandwell for all victims.
Councillor Farut Shaeen, Cabinet Member for Living Healthy Lives: “At this difficult time it is important that everyone knows that there is a huge amount of support available to those who find themselves victims of domestic abuse.
“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, including forced marriage, are an absolute priority for the police and support agencies."
Sandwell Council Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: "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 of forced marriage then help is here.
"Sandwell Council is continuing to provide critical services to our residents when they need them most."
Reporting domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is a crime and should be reported to the police. If you think there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, always call 999 and ask for the police.
If you are worried about a child’s safety, please report it to staff at their school, their doctor or health visitor, the police, or Children’s Social Care. If you think a child is in immediate danger and needs help urgently, please call the police on 999.
Black Country Women’s Aid can provide support to victims of domestic abuse, including forced marriage and honour-based abuse:
● Call the 24-hour helpline on 0121 552 6448
● Text or WhatsApp on 07384 466 181 (9am-9pm Monday-Friday)
● You can talk to a trained adviser on web chat, it is open Monday to Fridays 10am-2pm, except on bank holidays: www.blackcountrywomensaid.co.uk
● 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: www.sandwell.gov.uk/domesticabuse