THE COUNTY Council have created a series of ... to help with domestic abuse victims during the pandemic, particularly over lockdown periods.

Earlier this month the Oxford Mail revealed that reports of domestic violence to Thames Valley Police increased by 10 per cent over lockdown compared to the same time the previous year.

There are a number of ways the council and its partners are helping support victims of domestic abuse throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

Read here: Sexual assault reports went down over lockdown

The council has said: “Anyone experiencing domestic abuse in Oxfordshire is still able to access specialist support services during the coronavius outbreak.

“Anyone who is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse, is still able to leave and seek refuge despite restrictions on movement.

“Refuges remain open, and the police will provide support to all individuals who are being abuse - whether physically, emotionally or otherwise.”

Oxfordshire County Council, with Thames Valley police, domestic abuse charity Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse and a2dominion, have compiled information of how victims can continue to get support over the pandemic.

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Here are a number of ways to get help or support if you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse:

  • If you are in immediate danger call 999. If you are in immediate danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without having to speak.
  • Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services offers free services to anyone aged 16+ experiencing domestic abuse, with or without children, regardless of sexuality, ethnicity and immigration status. The helpline is still open and available. For hep and support you can call 0800 731 0055 (Monday to Friday 10am-7pm) or email
  • Alternatively, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, 0808 2000 247.
  • Reducing the Risk website also has information about what abuse may look like, how to stay safe and what do if you are worried about someone. Visit:
  • Anybody worried about harming the ones they love while staying at home can access support and help to manage their behaviours through the Respect Phoneline on 0808 8024040.

The county council’s support package also said: “When somebody is trapped at home with their abuser, they cannot protect themselves.

“Instead, now more than ever, it is everybody’s job to protect them.

“If you hear an incident of domestic abuse in progress or are worried for someone’s immediate safety call 999.

“Otherwise please share your concerns with the police via 101. It could really save lives.”

Romy Briant, Chairwoman of Reducing the Risk, told the Oxford Mail what the charity had been doing to make sure support was still provided over the pandemic.

She said: “We have been providing intensive proactive support through lockdown by phone and skype (linking closely with police when a home visit was needed) and help them manage the double trauma of domestic abuse and COVID on their physical and emotional health and to help them support and safeguard their children.”

Over the last lockdown, domestic violence reports rocketed by more than 10 per cent during the first lockdown – with almost 1,500 more incidents than the previous year.

Read more about this here.

Thames Valley Police received 15,264 reports of domestic violence between March 23 and July 3 – 1,444 more than the previous year’s total of 13,820 for the same period.

Reducing the Risk saw a 55 per cent increase in referrals in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period last year.

a2Dominion saw a 25 per cent increase in referrals compared to the same time the previous year.