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04 March, 2021

Resources for survivors and bystanders as COVID-19 restrictions change

With increased opportunities to meet up it is important that we know how to safely respond and signpost anyone wanting support. This might be someone’s first opportunity to reach out for support. We want everyone across our communities and all survivors to know support is available.

The Live Fear Free Helpline (0808 80 10 800) will be available 24/7 for anyone who is concerned about their own situation, or the situation of a neighbour, friend, or family member.

On this page you can find resources for survivors, the Bystander Toolkit and Welsh Government COVID-19 guidance.

Resources for survivors

The Live Fear Free Helpline is available 24hrs, 7days a week. You can contact us anytime on these details:

Call: 0808 80 10 800
Text: 078600 77333
Webchat: livefearfree.org.uk

Advice on keeping safe and well

If you are surviving, or have previously survived abuse, the current and evolving restrictions and changes to daily routines, activities, and other social opportunities may have a profound effect on your safety and well-being. We, along with all the local specialist services in Wales, will do our utmost to support you through this period of insecurity and change.

You can find our advice on keeping safe and well here

Self-Care

If you have previously survived violence or abuse, the prospect of changing situations can be distressing. Distancing and isolation can, among other things, trigger anxiety, flashbacks and painful memories, which can have a big impact on well-being in an already stressful time.

It is important to prioritise your health and wellness and to be especially kind to yourself.

You can read our advice on self-care here 

Extra resources

The pandemic has changed our lives in multiple ways, we will continue to develop resources to help survivors navigate the situation as it continues to change. Here are links to resources you might find useful:

In this video a professional counsellor talks you through a simple breathing exercise that may help you:

Bystander Toolkit

For survivors lockdown measures could mean they have not been able to meet with support networks and perpetrators are home more often.

As we get in touch with friends and family again, know you can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline if you have any concerns about your own, or a friend or family member’s, situation. If you have any immediate safety concerns call emergency services on 999.

With children and young people returning to school,  teachers and other professionals working alongside children and young people need to be ready to support children that may have experienced abuse during this time. These Safeguarding Pupils against Violence and and Abuse- Factsheets  developed in partnership with BAWSO,  Live Fear Free and ACEs Hub Wales offer a useful resources for teachers and other professionals.

Community response and social solidarity is vital in tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence but we need to ensure this is done safely and effectively to best meet the needs of survivors across Wales.

We have developed this Bystander toolkit, consisting of specific advice and information for concerned neighbours, engaged volunteers and employers, journalists and others to ensure they can safely raise awareness and signpost to support.

You can access the toolkit in English here and in Welsh here

In this video two professional counsellors provide some advice to partners of sexual violence survivors:

Welsh Government Guidance

The most up to date guidance on lockdown restrictions can be found here, on the Welsh Government FAQ page.

The most important thing is that you can leave your home at any time if you are at serious risk of harm, such as to avoid domestic abuse or sexual violence.

The Welsh Government funded Live Fear Free helpline is available 24/7, offering free confidential support and advice to survivors and concerned others.
Call: 0808 80 10 800
Text: 078600 77333
Webchat: livefearfree.org.uk

You can keep up with the latest Welsh Women’s Aid updates and advice by following us on social media.
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