We know this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone, but particularly those living with domestic abuse. A change in routine and the current advice to stay at home can put added strain on any relationship, but we want to send a clear message that you do not have to suffer in silence and there is never an excuse for abuse.
We want you to know that support remains available during these challenging times and we in the police, alongside a whole host of partners, are here to help.
We appreciate that living in an abusive relationship whilst in lockdown can make you feel as though your voice can’t be heard and picking up the phone to us can be even more difficult than usual. But there are still ways to speak out:
Here’s how you can contact us
• In an emergency, always dial 999 but if you are in danger and are unable to speak on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. You will be transferred to a call handler who will attempt to ask you simple yes or no questions. If you can’t speak at all, listen carefully to the questions and instructions of the call handler so they can assess and arrange help. More information on this service can be found here.
• You can speak to us live for advice any time via our online webchat service here.
• You can report domestic abuse on our website here.
• If you want to make an online report without being seen, our website has a permanent red ‘quick exit’ button at the top of the page which takes you to a weather forecast website. Information on how to hide or delete your online reporting history can be found here.
Family, friends and neighbours
Many people living with abuse may not feel able to report crime to us and that’s how other members of the community can assist. Please help us protect residents by listening out for suspicious behaviour or noises and reporting any concerns you have about neighbours, friends or family members who may be suffering in silence. We want to be there for the people of Cambridgeshire now more than ever and we can all work together to tackle abuse and safeguard those who need us the most. So please do report any worries to us using any of the above methods.
Setting ‘code words’ with family and friends can also be an important option during these times. It may not be easy for victims to call police but if an arranged safe word or phrase is in place like “did I leave my scarf at yours?”, can let the other person know that they need help.
We would also urge neighbours to stay in touch regularly, either over the garden fence or through the window, and for victims to inform them of their situation. You could arrange so that if something in particular is put in the window, like a vase or a book, it could be a visual sign that they need help.
Speak to other partners
If you do not wish to speak to police direct, there are plenty of charities and organisations who are also on hand to listen and help safeguard you.
• National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 08082000247
• National Stalking Helpline – 08088020300
• Cambridge Women’s Aid – 01223 460947
• Fenland, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough Refuge – 07787255821
• LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline – 08009995428
• Honour Based Abuse Helpline – 08005999247
Worried you might do something you don’t want to do
We understand that these unprecedented times can lead to financial and mental and physical health worries. Arguments can get heated and there’s no longer the opportunity to leave the house and cool off by socialising with friends and family.
For tips on how to relax and get away to avoid doing something you don’t want to, visit
You can also visit our website any time for more advice and support on the signs, tackling and living with domestic abuse.
We hope you find this useful. Please remember that we are here for you, you are not alone and we want you to help us to help you stay safe.
Message Sent By
Laura Wilson (Police, Corporate communications, HQ)