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Domestic abuse victims in the Thames Valley encouraged to reach out during the lockdown

Thames Valley Police say they're continuing the fight against domestic abuse during the coronavirus pandemic.

The force say they know the government lockdown rules may be causing people at risk of domestic abuse anxiety and fear.

For some adults the social distancing guidelines could mean that they are with their abuser for longer.

Thames Valley Police are reminding the public that the force will never tolerate domestic abuse and they're available 24/7 to provide help and support.

They say in an emergency people should always call 999.

If you can't speak, call 999 and then dial 55 - this will put you through to the 'Silent Solution', and the call taker will sensitively manage the police response.

The force emphasises that while the government's advice is to stay at home, anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse is still able to leave and seek refuge.

Detective Superintendent Rebecca Mears, who's Head of Public Protection, said: "You are likely to be feeling more alone than ever right now, but be assured Thames Valley Police and all local and national agencies are extremely conscious of this and have put plans in place to support you.

"Reach out, whether it be to the police or another agency that is right for you.

"We can help you.

"Families, friends, colleagues, and neighbours are also encouraged to be vigilant and call the police if they believe domestic abuse is affecting the lives of their loved ones or of their neighbours."

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, said: "Home does not feel like a safe place for victims of domestic abuse and in these uncertain times, I would like to assure victims that support through Victims First and other contracted service providers is available for those that need it.

"Services have been adapted in line with Government advice to ensure that we can continue to meet victims' needs.

"Anyone experiencing domestic abuse and needing support can contact one of the Thames Valley domestic abuse services directly or make an online referral to Victims First via our website."

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