Help and support for students experiencing harassment, assault or discrimination during social isolation

Issue date: 07 May 2020

Our home is ever more important to us during lockdown, for most it will be a place of sanctuary but there will be some living in very difficult and perhaps unsafe situations.Domestic abuse support services are working through lockdown and help is available.

UWE continues to support students and staff to create an inclusive and safe community through the #SpeakUp campaign. We would like students to speak up if you see or hear something that's not right. You can report situations you are in or aware of via Report and Support or by calling the UWE Bristol Serious Concerns Line.

For too long people have thought what goes on in the home is private, and not their problem. Domestic abuse is a crime. It is against the law. We all have a responsibility to speak out against it. 100% of the responsibility for abuse belongs to the perpetrator.

The measures of social isolation and distancing might have intensified abusive behaviours and increased the isolation of victims from their friends, classmates and family. Stay in touch with family and friends you are worried about.

If you are worried that your partner, or that of a friend or family member, is controlling and abusive, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge, on Tel: 0808 2000 247 or visit

Call the Men's Advice Line if you are a man and experiencing abuse in a relationship.

Galop runs the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse specialist helpline.

If you think that you or someone else is at immediate risk of serious harm, call the police on 999. If you are immediate risk and cannot speak freely, make yourself heard by coughing, tapping the handset or - once prompted by the automated system - by pressing 55 Government advice – lockdown restrictions do not apply if you are facing domestic abuse – your safety comes first.

If you are concerned that your own behaviour may be abusive and you could be hurting those you love, call the Respect Phoneline on 0808 8024040

During the lockdown, Boots offer safe space for domestic abuse victims where they can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.

You can support some of the national campaigns to raise awareness about domestic abuse, for example:

  • #YouAreNotAlone.
  • #NoExcuseForAbuse

Impact on your mental health

If you are experiencing suicidal feelings or thoughts, or are thinking of ending your life, take a moment to pause. There is always a way out of whatever you are experiencing and there are people ready and waiting to help you. Reach out to them now:

  • Call the Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123
  • if you are 35 or under, you can also call Hopeline on 0800 068 4141 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends, 2pm – 10pm bank holidays
  • Download the free Stay Alive app

Find out more information about domestic abuse.

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