This page was last updated on 1 July 2020
In light of the current and developing situation with Coronavirus, violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV) services are taking action to continue to provide the lifesaving and lifechanging support to those who need it in Wales as well as protecting survivors and staff within their services.
The Live Fear Free helpline services will continue to provide advice, support and referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on:
- Telephone: 0808 80 10 800
- Live Chat Service: gov.wales/live-fear-free
- Text: 078600 77 333
- Email: [email protected]
The helpline is available for anyone impacted by violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence or anyone concerned about someone else. Please let others know that it remains available during this period so anyone that needs it knows that support remains available to them regardless of Covid-19 restrictions. Be aware self-isolating and social distancing could have particular impacts for survivors of abuse.
Our membership of independent specialist services are taking specific precautions relevant to their services to respond to Covid-19. Some services have moved to online or telephone contact. Refuge and safe accommodation provision remains available in across Wales and can be accessed through the Live Fear Free helpline and local services. To contact your local service to see if there has been a change of service and if this might affect you please click here.
We have published support information for survivors, including children:
- Safety and Self care advice for survivors in isolation.
- Support on well-being in self-isolation, a guide for survivors.
- Supporting children and young people through the COVID 19 pandemic.
The following information may be useful on the needs of specialist services at this time:
- Welsh Women’s Aid briefing on what is needed to ensure survivors are supported and specialist services remain open.
- Welsh Women’s Aid statement on the use of hotels & B&Bs to supplement refuge space during the COVID 19 pandemic.
- Accessing Personal Protective Equipment for voluntary sector
We are following closely the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales latest advice as well as UK Government advice. We recommend checking the following sites regularly to ensure you are up to date with the current situation and guidance:
Family Court and Child Contact arrangements
- Cafcass Cymru: information for children and young people about COVID-19
- Rights of Women information page on child contact arrangements
- Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders
- Welsh Government Guidance for CAFCASS Cymru clients
Welsh Government Guidance relevant to VAWDASV Sector
- Welsh Government press release: £1.5m new Welsh Government funding will help victims and survivors of domestic abuse to Live Fear Free
- Welsh Women’s Aid Guidance for Perpetrator Services: Key points for practitioners
- Written Statement: Launch of The Young Person’s Mental Health Toolkit
- Written statement: school and community-based counselling operating toolkit (revised 2020)
- Welsh Government written statement on COVID 19 Response – Homelessness and rough sleepers
- Welsh Government COVID-19 testing: Easy read guide
- Welsh Government guidance on varying the terms and conditions of Third Sector grants due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Welsh Government Information on Support for the Third Sector
- Welsh Government hospital discharge service requirements
- Welsh Government guidance: Visits to care homes, supported living and extra care settings
- UK Government recognises children are victims of domestic abuse in their own right within the Domestic Abuse Bill
- Written statement from the Minister for Housing and Local Government and the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip on Support for Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
(VAWDASV) [ENG] [CYM]
- Written Statement from Deputy Minister and Chief Whip on Support for the Third Sector and Volunteering
- Written statement from Minister for Health and Social Services on Personal Protection Equipment.
- Information on volunteers
- Welsh Government roadmap: Unlocking our society and economy: continuing the conversation
Public Health Wales updates relevant to VAWDASV Sector
UK Government and non-devolved bodies guidance
- Guidance from HM Courts and Tribunal Service and Ministry of Justice on courts or tribunal services.
- UK Government Guidance in Self Isolation available in multiple languages.
Lastly, we are calling on funders to take a sympathetic approach to services at this time. We ask for any competitive tendering processes to be suspended, KPI reporting to be flexible and allowances made for services on deadlines and ensure VAWDASV services receive emergency funding to adapt provision and meet survivor needs. Specialist services need support to cope with the demand and keep women and children safe at a time of potential skeletal staff and heightened isolation for survivors. Services will need resources at this time to improve communication support channels and maintain staffing levels during increased sickness absence. They will need funds that enable services to have more flexibility on how they support and how they can support their staff to work from home/self-isolate and/or provide care for their relatives.
Similarly a reminder that both nationally and locally, VAWDASV services rely on fundraising activities to support their work. We have already had to cancel fundraising events due to Coronavirus, these funds will be greatly missed as they support us to continue to work towards ending VAWDASV in Wales. If you are looking to do something positive during this time, it may be an idea to donate to us and your local VAWDASV service.