We know that the rise in local restrictions and lockdowns across Wales will be a worry for many survivors. We want to reassure survivors and their loved ones that support is, and will continue to be, available.
Please note that if your area is in a local lockdown but you are a survivor that needs to leave your home or area to access support, you are allowed to do so.
We have put together a range of resources that may help survivors and people concerned for them, during these difficult times.
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. Please find our advice on keeping safe and well here
If you have previously survived violence or abuse, the prospect of a local lockdown 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.
During this time of restrictions and uncertainty, 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
Together with over 25 other organisations across the UK, we have created an accessible safety and wellbeing resource for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and other forms of gender based violence. The resource outlines some key numbers, contacts, and spaces for support. You can find this resource in a number of different languages here.
Face coverings are now compulsory in indoor spaces in Wales. Although we would strongly urge everyone to try to wear face coverings to protect themselves and those around then, we know that wearing face masks can induce trauma related stress for survivors. We also know that many survivors will be able to wear face masks but will be anxious about being triggered by them.
Being unable to put on, wear or remove a face mask without severe distress is one of the “reasonable excuses” for not wearing one.
You can download and/or print a Welsh Women’s Aid trauma related stress card for survivors, and read our advice on how to be more comfortable with wearing a face covering here
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
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
You can keep up with Welsh Government Covid-19 updates here
You can keep up with the latest Welsh Women’s Aid updates and advice by following us on social media.