We’ve launched a new helpline for people suffering domestic abuse in response to a rise in incidents of violence in the home during lockdown.
Anyone with children experiencing conflicts, difficulties or concerns in their relationship with their partner or family will be able to access confidential help from Children North East’s experienced Families and Parenting team.
The number to ring is 0191 256 2440 or people can text FAMILY to 07984 388130 to receive a call back.
The phone line will be staffed between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday providing direct support to those who are experiencing domestic violence. Callers will also be able to use a chat function on our website between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively they can leave a message which will be responded to the next working day. The line is open to anyone experiencing domestic abuse, female or male.
The Children North East helpline, which is supported by funding from the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Safeguarding Futures Domestic Abuse Programme, builds on the work the charity already delivers in this area.
Last year 127 parents and children benefited from our domestic abuse programme – DARE (Domestic Abuse Recovery and Education) – increasing parents’ knowledge of the impact domestic abuse has on children and how to support children through the recovery stages.
Michele Deans (above), Operations Director for Children North East, said:
“Children North East has a long history of supporting families experiencing domestic abuse. This new helpline is our response to the needs of victims and their children during this current crisis.”
Whilst the true scale of domestic violence is difficult to measure, as many cases go unreported, Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, identified a four per cent increase in crimes with domestic abuse markers connected to the force area just in the first two weeks of lockdown.
And calls to a national domestic abuse helpline were 49 per cent higher in the week up to April 15, compared to the average before the pandemic.
Kim McGuinness, said:
“We know that right now across our region there are people who feel trapped, locked in with their abuser, and whose children suffer as a result and one of the biggest worries we have is under-reporting. Our message to everyone, young and old, at risk of domestic abuse is clear; we are there for you even in these difficult times, and this helpline from Children North East is one such way we are ensuring support is available to those who need it most.”