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Be brave, speak up

Domestic violence affects all classes, race, religion, disabled, young, old, LGBTQ+, women, men and children and comes in many forms; physical, sexual, psychological, financial, violent, intimidation and coercive control.

We should all live free from the fear of domestic abuse.

Many people are currently forced indoors with lockdown, with an abusive partner or family member and need a ‘safe haven’ where they can collect their thoughts and get support. Sometimes getting out of that bubble of abuse can help you realise there is help out there for you and your family.

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse or if you’re worried about a friend or family member, Boots, Superdrug pharmacies, Morrisons pharmacies and other independent chemists have safe spaces – their consulting rooms are there for you and you’ll find specialist domestic abuse support.

In the consulting room you can safely explore your options without fear of being caught. Find out more about safe spaces

  • Make a call to the 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247 or call the Men’s Advice Line 0808 8010 327

  • Get information about the free app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone in an abusive relationship or if you’re concerned about someone

An abuser wouldn’t think their victim could access help at the local pharmacy.

Berkshire Women’s Aid for women, children and men

Our local charity Berkshire Women’s Aid www.berkshirewomensaid provide confidential support, information and refuge accommodation.

For help or if you’re worried about someone ring 0118 950 4003, leave a message with a safe time to call back if they are on another call.

You can also contact Berkshire Women’s Aid on Facebook messenger or email

Remember keep yourself safe and let them know how and when to contact you.

IN AN EMERGENCY ALWAYS CALL 999, IF YOU CAN’T SPEAK PRESS 55 Here is more information on how to make a silent 999 call when it’s not safe to speak—999-and-55/

If you’re worried about a child or young person being abused or neglected. Please don’t stay silent.

Help keep our local children and young people safe. If you’re worried about a child being abused or neglected or not sure if it’s abuse, please don’t stay silent, be brave speak up on behalf of a child.

To raise a concern about a child in Reading contact Brighter Futures For Children, call: 0118 937 3641 or email

160,000 children in England are affected by domestic violence and we know it’s a hard thing to talk about. PC Massie from Thames Valley Police shares helpful advice and reminds young people they won’t get into trouble if they call 999, if someone is getting hurt. Watch and share the video .

People of any age can be affected by domestic abuse

Older people can be particularly vulnerable to certain forms of domestic abuse, including abuse by a carer and financial abuse.

When the people you most depend on for care control or abuse you, it can seem like there is no way out. Older people can face significant barriers in leaving abusive situations and may have been subject to years of abuse, and experience long term health conditions or disabilities, or rely on their abuser for their care or money.

The situation facing older victims has deteriorated significantly due to Coronavirus and lockdown. Many older victims will have faced an impossibly cruel situation in which they were afraid to go out for fear of contracting a life-threatening illness, and afraid to stay in for fear of being abused at home.

Age UK are there for you and for you if you are worried about an older person. Their Advice Line telephone number is 0800 678 1602, and is free to call and open 8am to 7pm 365 days a year.

What are the signs of domestic violence?

Here are some signs that may indicate you or someone you care about is being abused:

  • withdrawn, or isolated from family and friends

  • bruises, burns or bite marks

  • finances controlled, or not being given enough to buy food or pay bills

  • not allowed to leave the house, or stopped from going to college or work

  • having your internet or social media use monitored, or someone else reading your texts, emails or letters

  • repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless

  • pressured into sex

  • told that abuse is your fault, or that you’re overreacting

But can I leave my home during lockdown?


Lockdown or household isolation does not apply if you need to leave you home to escape domestic abuse. Please be brave. Make the one small step of finding out your options in a safe space, see the information above, go to your local chemist and ask for their ‘Safe Space’ consulting room. Find out what your options are and what help there is for you and your family.

Berkshire Women’s Aid are here for you, call 0118 950 4003, leave a message with a safe time to call back if they are on another call. Remember cover your tracks, delete sent messages, call history or internet browsing history if your phone or computer is being checked.

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