Even though the country is in lockdown you can still leave your property if you need to do so because of abuse or violence. If you are planning to leave you can talk to IDAS, another local service or the national domestic abuse helpline about refuge and emergency accommodation.
It may be more difficult during this time to access a refuge space so please think about where else you might stay if you need to leave. Are there friends or family members you could stay with?
Local housing departments also have a duty to help anyone escaping domestic abuse find support and accommodation and are still operating via telephone. Please be aware that you will be asked questions about your health on assessment for a space at a refuge so that workers can make safe judgments.
Before you leave, it is a good idea to have a plan for how you might get out of the house and to a safe place if you needed to.
This may involve having a small bag packed with essentials such as:
- Spare cash,
- Credit card,
- Car keys,
- ID documents,
- Children's birth certificates,
- List of contact telephone numbers,
- Spare phone.
You may have already put these items in a safe place, perhaps at someone else’s house. Going to someone’s home in a hurry may be tricky under the circumstances. If you are able to leave and someone else has your belongings, you could ask them to leave these in a safe place outside of the home, in a garden shed or other place where parcels might be left.
If the police stop you, it is likely they will want to know what you are doing. Likewise, neighbours and other people who are not usually at home may notice if you are leaving the home.