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Domestic violence: At-risk islanders urged to adopt 'code words'

Domestic violence: At-risk islanders urged to adopt 'code words'

Thursday 16 April 2020

Domestic violence: At-risk islanders urged to adopt 'code words'

Jersey Women’s Refuge is urging islanders at risk of harm during lockdown to agree a 'code word' with family and friends, as reports of domestic violence spike locally.

The idea is one of a series of hints and tips released by the charity as part of its 'Safe Self' campaign.

Other guidance includes keeping mobile phones charged and topped-up, deleting internet browsing history and having an escape plan.

Jersey Women's Refuge, which is the only independent domestic violence charity in Jersey, hopes that the guidance will encourage women to adopt a safety plan to help protect themselves.


Pictured: Advice from Jersey Women’s Refuge on keeping safe during lockdown. (Jersey Women's Refuge)

The advice comes as Police have reported an increase in domestic violence-related calls during the lockdown period.

Meanwhile, Jacky Moon, service centre manager at NSPCC Jersey, said that calls to the charity's helpline regarding domestic abuse are also on the rise.

"The risk of abuse will be intensified due to lockdown rules as parents and children lose important sources of support and feel they have less opportunities to reach out for help," she said.

The growing concern for vulnerable children and adults during the stay at home period is also reflected in a new Government safeguarding campaign: ‘See It, Hear It, Report It’.

The campaign encourages islanders to be their ‘eyes and ears’ in the community and report any safeguarding concerns. 

Minister of Home Affairs, Constable Len Norman, commented: “It is everyone’s responsibility to support and protect the vulnerable children and adults in our island community. We want to ensure that both victims and their families are able to access the right help and support during this time.”

As domestic abuse is a largely hidden crime, Ms Moon stressed the important role key workers can play.

"It is vital that key workers who continue to have contact with families, from delivery drivers to retail staff, are supported with the necessary guidance about spotting signs of abuse and know where to raise concerns," she said.

The full list of tips from Jersey Women's Refuge...

  • Always keep your mobile phone charged and with you. If it is a pay-as-you-go phone, make sure you have enough credit to call for help if you need it.

  • Agree a code word with your family and/or friends.

  • Stay safe online, delete your internet browsing history.

  • Have an escape plan. Think about where you might be able to go in an emergency.

  • If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house.

  • If you are in danger, dial 999.

Anyone with concerns can contact the following services for advice...

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