Do you feel trapped in an abusive relationship and want help? There are services in Cumbria and your local area that can help you with advice and information.
There are three Women’s Centre’s – Barrow, Whitehaven, and Carlisle – that can help you locally and get you in contact with the right service for your situation. There is also a 24 hour, seven days a week helpline that can give support from anywhere in Cumbria. These services can also help you identify if you are in abusive relationship. If you need help, you can call:
South: Women’s Community Matters, Barrow, can help with issues like domestic and sexual abuse, benefits and housing issues and mental wellbeing. They can also provide information on other services that can help you. They are open Monday 9.30am – 4pm, Tuesday 9.30am – 6pm,Wednesday 9.30am – 4pm, Thursday 9.30am – 6pm, Friday 9.30am – 1pm and can be reached on 01229 311102.
West: Women Out West, Whitehaven, can provide emotional support and advice on domestic abuse. They can also provide information on other services that can help you. They are open, Monday to Friday 9.30 – 2.30pm on 01946 550103.
North: Gateway 4 Women, Carlisle, provides support on issues like domestic abuse, mental wellbeing, homelessness, housing etc. and can also provide information on other domestic and sexual abuse services. They are open Monday – Thursday 9.30am – 4.30pm, Friday 9.30am – 1.00pm. They can be called on 01228 212090.
Cumbria-wide: Victim support Cumbria, Mon – Fri, 9am-6pm and can be reached on 0300 303 0157. The national 24/7 helpline is 0808 1689 111. Victim Support can help with any time of crime including domestic abuse and give advice that is completely private. If you cannot speak, Victim Support also has a 24/7 online chat on their website, victimsupport.org.uk
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, who helps to fund these services, said: “No one should feel trapped in an abusive relationship – I understand that it can be hard to ask for help but these services can help you.
“Domestic abuse isn’t just physical – it can be based on control over money, constant bullying and attacking your self-esteem, or controlling what you do, who you see, what you wear etc. If you recognise any of these signs the women’s centres and Victim Support can help.
“I want to make it clear that if you are in danger please call the Police on 999 or leave the house if you can – the Government guidelines of staying at home because of Coronavirus do not apply if you are in danger.
“The Constabulary are still handling all reports as normal and all reports are taken seriously.
“Please do not suffer in silence and alone, there are people that want to help and can help so please get in contact with the Police or these services.”
Detective Chief Inspector Dan St.Quintin said: “Cumbria Police are still very much open for business and I’d like to emphasize that victims will be listened to and will be supported.
“There are lots of charities and organisations as well as the police that can help victims so please don’t suffer in silence, we will keep you and your family safe.
“I also urge any friends, family members or colleagues to report any concerns they have on 101. Always ring 999 in an emergency.
“During the lockdown period we are holding weekly live question and answer sessions on Facebook with help from our partner agencies to form a panel of safeguarding experts who can answer any questions relating to domestic abuse.
“Questions can be sent in anonymously. Further information on these events can be found on the Cumbria Police Facebook page.”
“The stay at home order put in place by the Government to tackle COVID-19 does not mean that you have to suffer the abuse – the Police will take all reports seriously and if you are in immediate danger the police will help you out of the situation.
“Services such as Victim Support and the Women’s Centres provide local support and advice to anyone in need, no matter their gender, age, socio-economic class, sexuality, religion etc.
“Domestic abuse is not only physical. Abuse can take the form of emotional, financial and sexual.
“Controlling behaviour or acts that isolate a partner from friends, family or their freedom is abuse and these services can help you if you feel you are in an abusive relationship.
“I will always urge those in an abusive situation to call the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency but I understand that many people do not want this.
“That’s why these services are so important – the help is solely around the individual’s wants and needs and is a safe space for anyone who needs this much needed relief.
“Please do not suffer in silence – you will be taken seriously and help is out there.”
Women’s Community Matters is open Monday 9.30am – 4pm, Tuesday 9.30am – 6pm,Wednesday 9.30am – 4pm, Thursday 9.30am – 6pm, Friday 9.30am – 1pm and can be reached on 01229 311102