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Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS), are extending their online Live Chat service from 1st April in response to a 30% increase in chats for March 2020 from the same month last year. The increase has been attributed to concerns about people being isolated with an abusive partner or family member as a result of the global pandemic.
The Live Chat service will run from 3 pm – 6 pm Monday – Friday. Additionally, the team will run a chat dedicated to answering questions from professionals, agencies and workers from 10 am – 12 noon on weekdays.
Sarah Hill, CEO of IDAS said:
We know how hard it can be to take the first step to getting support. Many people are understandably very worried that they are faced with weeks, even months of being shut in the same house as their abuser with very little opportunity for respite. Our Live Chat service offers a discrete way to get in touch with us. Our trained workers offer practical and emotional support to anyone who may be affected and can help you to understand what you are experiencing and what your options are. We would urge anyone who is afraid of their partner or who simply has questions about whether their relationship could be abusive to get in touch.
The charity says that is regularly gets messages from people who are trying to work out if they are experiencing domestic abuse and have questions about what abusive behaviour looks like. In addition to Live Chat, the charity is determined to keep its helplines and refuges open and is also offering support via online video calls, messaging services and emails.
The Live Chat service, which can be accessed directly from the IDAS website, was one of the first in the country to provide support to anyone affected by domestic abuse in this way. Since its launch, it has offered reassurance and support to thousands of people who might otherwise be worried about picking up the phone.
Get in touch with IDAS
York, North Yorkshire and Barnsley 03000 110 110
Sheffield 0808 808 2241
24-hour National Helpline 0808 2000 247