IF YOU ARE IN URGENT NEED OF HELP NOW:
IN AN EMERGENCY, ALWAYS DIAL 999.
Police help is fast and effective in an emergency. The police can also contact Jewish Women's Aid or another refuge for you.
Contacting the police in an emergency does not mean that you have to be involved in a prosecution at a later stage. It does mean that you will get fast and effective help and, if you need it, the police can remove you from a dangerous situation immediately and take you to a place of safety.
If the situation is urgent, then leave – take your children and go to the nearest police station. Ask them to call JWA or the National Domestic Violence Helpline for you. (At a later stage, arrangements can be made for you to return to collect possessions with a police escort.)
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WHEN YOU SEEK TO LEAVE, YOU MAY BE AT THE MOST RISK SO BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR PLANS SECRET SO THAT YOU KEEP YOURSELF SAFE FROM FURTHER HARM.
JWA’S FREE-PHONE CONFIDENTIAL HELPLINE: 0808 801 0500
JWA’s helpline is available from 9.30am to 9.30pm, Monday through to Thursday. Outside of these hours, messages are collected daily (except for Shabbat). The Helpline is staffed by trained female Jewish volunteers, Jewish women helping Jewish women and is confidential and free, offering a listening ear and non-judgemental support.
JWA’S HEAD OFFICE (OFFICE HOURS ONLY): 020 8445 8060
If the helpline is busy, during office hours you can also contact the JWA Head Office.
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELPLINE: 0808 2000 247
The National Domestic Violence Helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. It is staffed by trained staff and volunteers and all are women. They can discuss the options available to women and children who are experiencing domestic violence and can refer you on to refuges and other sources of help as appropriate. They will help you and advise you on resources anywhere in the country and can provide access to an interpreter through Language Line for non-English speakers and to BT Type Talk for those with hearing impairment. If you ask for Jewish Women’s Aid, they can contact us for an emergency placement.
If you are able to do so, it helps to plan ahead:
- Have an escape route from home.
- Keep money aside for phone calls, taxi, train or bus – or overnight accommodation.
- Have an extra set of keys for the house or car.
- Make sure your children know how to dial 999 and tell them to do so if they think it necessary.
- Keep an emergency bag with clothes and medicines packed and ready in a safe place.
- Remember your mobile phone.
- Keep documents ready: passport (and children’s passports), birth and marriage certificates, ketubah, driving licence, address book, telephone numbers, wills, house documents, bank details, cheque books and credit cards, national insurance and NHS numbers if you have them. (Make photocopies of documents if you can’t take originals).
- If you can do so, confide in a friend or family member. Perhaps you can leave a bag, money or documents with them? Perhaps you could stay overnight if you have to leave in an emergency?
A refuge is an emergency shelter: Do you have friends or family you could go to? If not, or if this could put them at risk or your partner could find you there, come to the Jewish Women's Aid refuge. It is here to help you.
You can call JWA for advice and to discuss your options, what you should do, where you can go and to help you plan.
Do remember to take your mobile telephone and anything that may give a clue to where you have gone. (Make sure you do not leave clues on your home telephone with last number redialling).
Remember, minicabs can be traced to find where you went. If you take one, go to the police station or a tube or train station, where you cannot then be further traced.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & PETS
Many women and children feel forced to stay with violent partners because they feel they can't leave their pets behind - and often violent men are also violent towards the family pets. Research shows that there is a link between animal abuse and domestic violence: men who are violent to women may threaten to harm or actually kill a beloved pet in order to intimidate their partner, so maintaining their power and control.
For details of organisations who offer accommodation for pets of women and children fleeing domestic violence, please click here.