Domestic abuse support is still available during latest coronavirus lockdown

Date published: 09 January 2021

Support is still available for those affected by domestic abuse, and those at risk of harm can still leave their homes under the latest coronavirus lockdown rules.

Last month, emergency funding was allocated to Greater Manchester charities which support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence to adapt their services while the pandemic continues.

A total of £571,196 was allocated to 26 organisations by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), which will enable them to adapt services and improve digital capabilities for remote working.

The money will enable the charities to provide more counselling for vulnerable victims and hire additional staff to cope with increased demand. They will also be able to make their organisations ‘Covid Secure’ and provide PPE to staff.

The funding has been allocated to the charities via Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) after it submitted bids to government for the funding.

Among the local charities to receive the latest MoJ funding are Rochdale Connections Trust, Victim Support Rochdale, New Step for African Community (NESTAC) and the Greater Manchester region-wide helpline Independent Choices.

Rochdale Connections Trust – a charity that was established over 20 years ago by local people and provides services for children, young people and adults – offers support for female victims, children and male perpetrators. It is the leading independent provider of domestic abuse services, family support services and targeted youth support interventions throughout the Borough of Rochdale.Call 07946 651643.

Rochdale Victim Support provides one-to-one support for male and female victims and survivors of domestic abuse living within Rochdale borough. 0161 507 9609 and

NESTAC was founded as a non-for-profit organisation in the borough of Rochdale in 2003. It provides a support line to BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) women, young girls and victims of domestic and/or sexual abuse in a variety of different languages, including Swahili and Portuguese.

You can contact the NESTAC support line on 07862 279289 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). You can also text the word ‘HELP‘ and someone will get back to you.

Independent Choices provides the domestic abuse helpline for Greater Manchester. The helpline is confidential and you do not have to give your name. The helpline is a safe space for you to talk through what is going on at the moment and give you the options that are available to you: 0161 636 7525

Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, said: “The new restrictions require people to stay at home, but for many people home isn’t a safe environment.

“We know for some victims the pandemic has meant spending more time at home with their potential abuser, and as a result this means victims have been cut off from their existing support networks. It has also added to extra stress and anxiety, therefore the extra funding is needed now more than ever so services can still be delivered under remote conditions.

“Our message to victims of domestic abuse is – you are not alone, and support is still here if you need it. I also want to remind people that if home isn’t a safe place, you are allowed to leave and stay away from home overnight to escape risk of harm, such as domestic abuse, despite the restrictions – this is a very important message.”

Guidance about the new lockdown rules can be found on the website.

Help and support for domestic abuse

Domestic violence or abuse is defined as controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. Domestic violence can happen against anyone, and anybody can be an abuser.

You do not have to wait for an emergency situation to find help.

If you're a victim of domestic abuse, there's a range of support available to help you, including the helplines mentioned in this article.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling anxious and unsafe in their home, visit or call 0161 200 1950 for help and advice, including how to access local support services.

You don’t have to report anything to the police if you don’t want to, but if you, or someone else is in immediate danger always dial 999.

If you are calling 999 from a mobile phone and you are unable to speak, you can use the Silent Solution by pressing 55 when prompted. Once you press 55, the operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.

If you, or someone you know, has come to harm or is at risk of coming to harm, you can report this to Greater Manchester Police via their Livechat facility at or call 101 for the Greater Manchester Police Switchboard (24-hour service).

You can also call the freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

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