We know that this year has seen many changes in Government Guidance around how we should stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. With recent news of lockdown being lifted, we understand that it may still not feel safe to leave home or think about going missing. We want to help you to keep safe should you be thinking about leaving home, and let you know how to get in touch with us if you need to talk.
If you have a loved one away from home and you’re worried about them we are here to help you too. You can find further guidance and support for families here.
We’ve put together the following tips in case they’re helpful in these difficult times.
If your home environment is not or does not feel safe
(For example, but not limited to, if you’re experiencing domestic abuse or if someone is taking advantage or making you feel uncomfortable in your property)
If you’re thinking of leaving:
- You can still leave your home to reach a place of safety regardless of lockdown implications. Various levels of lockdown have been implemented throughout this year, but it is important that you know you can leave even in complete lockdown.
- Have a safety plan – think about where you can stay, and who you trust to ask for help
- It may be more challenging to access support services, including your local social services at this time. Speak to us if you need to talk to someone, if you feel like you may be in a position where you need to leave, or if you’re feeling unsure or overwhelmed. We are available from 9am – 11pm and free to contact by phone (116 000), text (116 000), or email firstname.lastname@example.org confidential support. You can remain anonymous when you talk to us, if you want to.
If you are planning to leave:
- If you do leave home, follow guidance to keep yourself and others safe from Covid-19 in public by:
- Staying 2 metres away from people
- Wearing a face covering
- Avoiding crowded places
- Cleaning hands and surfaces regularly
- While you’re away it may be harder to charge your phone and access places to rest or stay because of many businesses remaining closed or having stricter policies. Think about what you will need to stay safe and where you will be able to go.
If you’re not currently planning to leave:
- While family visits and spending time with friends is restricted, it’s really important that we are all able to stay in contact with safe people in our lives. Ensure you have access to a phone or can get online to maintain communication.
- Have a safety plan in case you do need to leave – think about where you can stay, and who you trust to ask for help.
- It may be more challenging to access support services, including your local social services at this time, however you can still reach out for support. We are available 9am-11pm and free to contact by phone (116 000), text (116 000), or email email@example.com for confidential support. You can remain anonymous when you call, if you want to.
- It is more important than ever that everyone in your home is given space and privacy when they need it. Talk to people in your household about what you need and agree a plan if you’re feeling stressed or if there are any arguments at home.
- Exercise can be helpful for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. Everyone can still take part in exercise, even under any lock-down conditions, once a day. If it feels right for you, consider whether going out for exercise is something that would help improve your mental health and well-being. Ensure you assess any potential risks and follow social distancing guidance whilst you are out.
- Having fun and keeping entertained will help everyone to stay okay during the outbreak. Speak to people you know to see how you could connect online, consider new activities and if there are any hobbies that your household could take up at home.
Other support services in Wales
The Samaritans are available 24/7 and provide support in both the English and Welsh language.
- English Language support can be accessed 24/7 on 116 123 or by emailing jo@Samaritans.org
- Welsh language support can be accessed between 7pm-11pm on 0808 164 0123
If you, a family member a friend, or someone you are concerned about has experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence, you can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline 24 hours a day 7 days a week, for free advice and support or to talk through your options.
Get in touch with Live Fear Free advisors free of charge by phone, online chat, text or email.