At King’s we understand that the ongoing pandemic is both worrying and unsettling for many of our students and staff, as we continue to adjust to working and studying remotely at a time of global crisis.
If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence and feeling unsafe at home during this time, important to know that there are several resources that can help.
This article provides an overview of the many resources that are available to support you.
Getting support in an emergency situation
Domestic abuse or violence in any form, is a crime and should be reported to the police in the first instance.
If you believe you are in immediate danger while social distancing at home, do not hesitate to call 999. The police take domestic violence seriously and will protect you.
You can also report a crime to your local neighbourhood policing team if you would like to report a crime in a non-emergency situation.
Boots have also introduced 'safe spaces' within their pharmacies, to help with access to services providing support and advice - Boots Pharmacy Consultation Rooms - safe space.
Helplines you can contact
There are a number of organizations you can contact that are specifically trained to support and advise victims of domestic abuse:
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Ran by Refuge, The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is open 24 hours a day, and provides support and guidance for potential victims of domestic abuse, and for those who have concerns about friends or a loved one.
Refuge also have a contact form that can be used to schedule a call at a time that’s most convenient for you.
Women’s Aid has a live-chat service and an online Survivors’ Forum, and have written useful advice specifically for the current Coronavirus outbreak. They also provide useful information on the support helplines available in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can also find your local domestic abuse service on their website.
Men’s Advice Line
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse or anyone worried about a loved one who may be a victim of domestic violence.
Run by Galop the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse specialist helpline can be accessed by members of the LGBT+ community or anyone worried about a loved one who might be victim of domestic violence.
Southall Black Sisters
Southall Black Sisters offer specialist support, advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse.
Stay Safe East
Stay Safe East provides specialist and holistic advocacy and support services to disabled victims and survivors of abuse.
I’m worried about another student who might be a victim of domestic abuse
If you have concerns about another student at King’s, and you feel that calling the emergency services is not appropriate, you can submit a form through our internal Student of Concern procedure
What is the Student of Concern procedure?
The Student of Concern is an internal procedure that allows current students and staff at King’s to make a referral online, if you are concerned about the welfare of a student.
Alternatively, you can fill in the form if you'd like to do a self-referral. You can find out more about the types of concerns that are raised through the Student of Concern procedure in our article: I’m concerned about a student
What happens once I submit a Student of Concern form?
Your submission will be picked up by specialist staff within Student Support and Wellbeing Service, who will process your form within 24 hours, if your referral is made during our office hours (Monday- Friday 9am-5pm), and will be able to advise on the best course of action, while maintaining confidentiality.
The student in question, will be also be contacted by a member of the Student Support and Wellbeing Service. For more information about this, you can refer to our article I'm concerned about a student/peer.
University services and resources which you can access remotely
The King's Counselling and Mental Health Support Service is available online and offers free and confidential counselling and mental health support to students. We recognise that these are especially challenging times and would like to reassure you that the service is here to support your wellbeing and mental health.
If you would like to access free and confidential online support you can find out more about registering for counselling. If you have any concerns about money or housing issues, the Advice and Guidance team also offer remote appointments, through Skype and have extended their Adviceline service.
For guidance on how you can access Student Service and Wellbeing Services remotely, take a look at our article: Accessing Student Support & Wellbeing remotely
Togetherall: online mental health support
King's College London subscribes to a safe and anonymous online service called Togetherall that you can use if you are feeling down, feeling anxious, or just want someone to talk to. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be accessed on any device with an internet connection. Find out more about Togetherall and how to access the service in our article Mental health support from Togetherall.
Out-of-hours counselling support
King’s have partnered with Pro-Counselling, who are King’s College London’s out-of-hours Counselling Service.
You can use this free and confidential service when you would like to talk about an issue or problem out-of-hours and feel that you cannot wait to see a counsellor.
Find out more about how you can access this service: Out-of-hours counselling support.
Online resources available for you to access
There are many online resources available for you to access at a time that suits you.
Written by survivors of domestic violence, Chayn provides a wide range of online resources ranging from
- Tips on how to detect and handle abuse
- Support to for helping a loved one at risk of domestic violence
The NSPCC has issued bespoke guidance for spotting and reporting the signs of abuse during COVID-19, alongside a useful guide on how best to support a child who feels unsafe at home and wants to talk to someone.
Ongoing support for your mental health & wellbeing
During these uncertain times, it’s important that you take time out to look after your mental health and wellbeing. We have put together a range of mental health resources and support options for you to access this year – find out more in our article Mental health & wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic.
All the organisations listed in this article are ready to help you or a loved one. The sooner you talk to someone, the easier things will become.