People living with domestic abuse can still access support services, despite the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Domestic abuse services in the borough of Rochdale are operating and can offer support with emergency accommodation, safety planning and accessing civil orders like injunctions.
The call comes as Refuge, the charity which runs the national domestic abuse helpline, reported a 10-fold increase in visits to its website in recent weeks.
There are concerns that victims feel unable to get help due to restrictions in what people can do but anyone can ignore government guidelines in order to access support for domestic abuse.
When lockdown began in March 2020, some agencies in the borough of Rochdale saw a drop in domestic abuse referrals. The council launched a campaign advertising services in supermarket queues, in pharmacies and on social media. Services have seen a gradual increase in domestic abuse reports particularly to Victim Support, which supports victims who are at high risk of harm.
The borough's major domestic abuse services have changed how they are working, still operating phone services and will offer outreach to anyone who needs it. Due to additional funding being secured locally, the refuge service has been able to increase its capacity and currently has vacancies.
Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture, said: "Our services have been incredible at adapting to ensure they are still providing a vital service to people when they need it most.
"We want people to know that even though life is very different, help is still there. If you are an adult or a child living with abuse who wants help, or if you are committing abuse and want to stop, our services are open to you so don't hesitate to get in touch."
If you would like help or advice you can call Safenet on 0300 303 3581 or call Victim Support on 0161 507 9609.
As well as supporting victims, there is help available to anyone who is hurting a loved one. People who are worried about their behaviour can call the national Respect phoneline on 0808 8024040 or contact Rochdale Connections Trust on 07946 651643.
If you're a young person living with violence at home, you are not alone. There are many in your situation and it's important to remember that the abuse is not your fault and you should not have to live like this. People within the council and police are still here to help you, contact us on 0300 303 0440. You can also talk to an adult you trust or visit
the Childline website. You can also call Childline on 0800 1111.
The police are responding to calls about domestic abuse as usual. Dial 999 in an emergency and press 55 from a mobile handset if you cannot speak – this will indicate to the operator that you need the police.
The council has provided training for professionals online so they continue to understand the services available and to spot the signs of abuse through their limited contact with people.
For information and contact details for the support available to domestic abuse victims and perpetrators visit
our domestic violence section.
This includes information on the specialist services available for perpetrators, LGBT+ people and for specific issues like honour-based abuse.