In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Standing Together Team are currently providing remote support to students until further notice.  

We are aware that many people will be at greater risk of abuse during the lockdown period and that many may be feeling unsafe isolating in a house at this time. If you are concerned about someone you know or if you are living with an abusive person, please download the free The Bright Sky app which enables users to locate their nearest support services by searching their area, postcode or current location. Please only download this app if it is safe to do so and you are sure that your mobile phone is not being monitored.

Given the rise in domestic abuse since this lockdown period, we thought it would be useful to share some specific information around keeping safe:
  • The government have confirmed that individuals who are experiencing abuse are allowed to leave their home, this includes students living in private accommodation or student halls.
  • Women, men and their children travelling to refuge accommodation while coronavirus lockdown measures are in force can still apply for free train travel through a partnership between train companies and Women’s Aid. Once an offer of a refuge has been received, tickets can be accessed through local domestic violence services- For Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland residents, please contact Women’s Aid.  
Support services are still available for those experiencing domestic abuse- please see below for contact details. Further information around government guidance and support can be found here

What is Domestic Violence?
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Coercive Control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Forced Marriage
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Honour-Based Violence
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Online or Digital Abuse
What is Coercive Control?
Coercive control is when a person you are personally connected with repeatedly behaves in a way that makes you feel controlled, isolated or scared. This could include isolating you from friends and family, controlling your finances, monitoring what you do and where you go, putting you down and making you feel worthless or threatening to harm you, your child or your property. There is not a definitive list of behaviours, as the abuser will often use various means to establish controlling or coercive behaviour.

Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship is defined as controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship which causes someone to fear that violence will be used against them on at least two occasions; or causes them serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on their usual day-to-day activities.
 
What is Honour-based Abuse? 
Honour based abuse is a collection of practices used to control behaviour within families in order to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour. Violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their ‘honour code’. 

Honour based abuse cuts across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities. Circumstances which may lead to the abuse are wide ranging and not culturally specific. It is important to remember that, despite the use of this label, there can be no ‘honour’ in abuse, and where culture or tradition are used to exert power or control over others, this can only be a misuse of that culture. 

Honour-based abuse includes: 
  • Physical abuse (kicking and beating)
  • Psychological pressure (strict monitoring, humiliation, threats)
  • Forced Marriage
  • Abandonment (leaving someone in their country of origin or sending them back there);
  • Forced suicide
  • Honour killing (murder)

Immediate and Ongoing Support  

If you are on campus, or in a University building and would like support, please contact our Security Service on 0116 252 2888 who are available all day, every day. If you are in need of urgent NHS Mental Health Support you should call the 24-hour Central Access Point on 0116 295 3060. If it’s a life-threatening emergency or you need immediate help please call 999

Students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can leave your email address to seek further support from Student Support. 

Internal Support
  • In addition to the University’s Student Support Services; Welfare, Wellbeing and AccessAbility, and the Students’ Union Advice Service, the Standing Together team can offer practical support and guidance in relation to unacceptable behaviours. Our work involves supporting students on a 1:1 basis, and providing holistic support options and referrals, where relevant. After an initial needs and risk assessment, we can provide students with options in relation to reporting and support – including those detailed above and below. We can also support students in accessing services and coordinating this. In order to access this support, please leave your contact email address when completing the online disclosure form. For more information, please visit the campaigns tab of this system.
For more information about University and Students’ Union support, please see: www.le.ac.uk/wellbeing
  • Consider whether there are any practical implications of what’s happened/ is happening e.g. you could consider submitting a mitigating circumstances request if your studies have been, or are affected, and/ or you may have financial or accommodation related concerns. You can contact the Welfare team on welfare@le.ac.uk and seek support, without having to disclose any specific details about the incident(s) itself.
External Support
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline- Freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
  • Women’s Aid Leicestershire support women and children fleeing domestic and sexual abuse. To access outreach support or supported refuge accommodation within Women’s Aid Leicestershire, call the helpline on: 0330 00 210 10 
  • Mankind offers a confidential helpline for all men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or abuse. Call 01823 334244 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday 
  • United Against Violence & Abuse (UAVA) provides co-ordinated sexual and domestic violence services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland for anyone over the age of 13. You do not need to report to the police to access this service. Call 0808 80 200 28. For text support: 07715 994 962 (This is for text support only, calls to this number will not be answered) 8am – 8pm, Monday to Saturday
  • Galop provides emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse. Call 0800 999 5428 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday (open until 8pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays). 
  • Karma Nirvana is a charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. They run a national helpline offering direct support and guidance. Call: 0800 5999 247 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
  • The Halo Project is a charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse, forced marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Call: 0808 1788 424 or 01642 683 045 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
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