This week we are supporting National Safeguarding Adults Week. Each day we will focus on a different theme to help spread awareness of the importance of safeguarding in the context of domestic abuse.

There are a number of fantastic resources and services available. We have listed just a few, for each of the broad themes this week. 

Monday - Safeguarding and Wellbeing

Everybody has the right to live a life that is free from harm and abuse;  Abuse and neglect can have devastating immediate, short term and longer term impacts on a person’s health, safety and wellbeing.   

Safeguarding is a term that describes the process of protecting people from harm and promoting their health, wellbeing and human rights.   

Safeguarding is everyone’s business, and now more than ever, it’s so important we can all recognise the signs that someone might be at risk and feel able to respond to concerns.  

Click here to hear from NCVO about what safeguarding really means: 

Click here to visit the Ann Craft Trust website 

Click here for the latest tips from Ann Craft Trust on how to protect your wellbeing during Covid-19

Click here to read more about what kind of signs to look out for and what to do if you are concerned

Tuesday - Modern Slavery

More people are enslaved today than have been in any other point in history. Women and girls account for 71% of all victims of modern slavery. 

Modern slavery includes:

  • slavery
  • human trafficking and exploitation
  • forced labour and domestic servitude.

Traffickers and those who perpetrate modern slavery coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.Slavery is not an issue confined to history or an issue that only exists in certain countries – it is something that is still happening today. It is a global problem and the UK is no exception. It is a growing issue, affecting men, women and children.

The Modern Slavery helpline can be contacted on 0800 0121 700 or via their website 

The Modern Slavery Helpline provides information and advice about modern slavery, a 24 hour telephone reporting line, online reporting through the website, and can provide training to public sector organisations on modern slavery.

The Salvation Army provides specialist support for all adult victims of modern slavery in England and Wales. Their confidential referral helpline 0800 808 3733  is available 24/7. For more information visit their website

The National Crime Agency are working with partners in the UK and around the world to pursue offenders and safeguard victims. Click here to watch their video on spotting the signs of modern slavery. 

Wednesday - Stalking

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, almost one in five women over the age of 16 have experienced stalking, as well as almost one in ten men. Being stalked can be incredibly frightening, the abuser is often fixated and obsessed with the survivor. 

Stalking is a criminal offence however there is no clear legal definition of stalking because it encompasses lots of different behaviours and no individual case is the same. The Protection from Harassment Act, 1997 offers some behaviours which may constitute as stalking. This includes:

a) Following a person,
b) Contacting or attempting to contact, a person by any means,
c) Publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, or purporting to originate from a person,
d) Monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication,
e) Loitering in any place (whether public or private),
f) Interfering with any property in the possession of a person,
g) Watching or spying on a person

This is a non-exhaustive list, and other behaviours in certain circumstances may too be seen as stalking.

The Safer Places Stalking Advocacy team working across Hertfordshire is made up of professional staff offering short to medium term support to women and men affected by stalking in the community. 

The service includes:

  • Trauma informed support
  • Advice and advocacy
  • Risk assessment and safety planning
  • Court support and police liaison
  • One front door for Hertfordshire victims of stalking
  • Safer Places therapeutic programmes
  • Access to legal support
  • Counselling

Our Gateway service is open 24/7 - please call us on 03301 025 811 to discuss the support available in your area. 

Thursday - Domestic Abuse 

The UK government’s definition of domestic abuse is:  

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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.  

This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following: 

  • Coercive Control  
  • Psychological and/or Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Abuse 
  • Sexual Abuse 
  • Financial or Economic Abuse 
  • Harassment and Stalking
  • Tech/Online Abuse  

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Domestic Abuse includes 'honour’ based violence (HBV)female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage (FM).  

Domestic abuse does not have any boundaries - it can happen to anyone and anybody can be an abuser, regardless of age, background, ethnicity, gender, religion or belief, and sexuality. Whilst domestic abuse occurs in all relationships, evidence shows the vast majority of domestic abuse incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.

Whilst the government definition applies to those aged 16 or above young people under 16 can be in abusive relationships.   

Safer Places recognises that survivors of domestic abuse who experience other forms of oppression and discrimination may face further barriers to disclosing abuse and accessing support.

If you are being abused, remember you are not alone. 

We can help you by providing advice and support with: 

  • Improving your safety 
  • Emotional support 
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Finances and welfare benefits 
  • Access to legal services 
  • Support reporting abuse if you choose to 
  • Parenting and children 
  • Immigration and No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) 

If you are in immediate danger contact the police on 999 

To find out more about how we can help please see our accommodation and outreach services. 

Friday - Multiple Disadvantage

Women who face multiple disadvantages are often the most excluded and marginalised in society and have histories of violence, abuse and trauma. These women often face multiple issues such as mental ill health, addiction, homelessness, poverty and come into contact with the criminal justice system, building trauma upon trauma. Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women often experience additional forms of oppression, discrimination and inequality based on race or religion and face additional barriers to accessing support.  

Click here to read tips from Mind for everyday living and wellbeing 

Click here to visit Alcohol Change, read their Alcohol Awareness Campaign and access their coronavirus information and advice hub for tips for managing your drinking, links to support you can access even while self-isolating, and guidance for professionals.

Click here to access information from the NHS about getting help for drug addiction 

Click here for advice from Nacro on criminal records, jobs, housing, education and training.

Click here to visit Homeless Link, the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England working to make services better and campaign for policy change that will help end homelessness.

Click here  for advice and information from Shelter on homelessness and housing