29th March 2020
The government acknowledges that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what stresses you are under.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you. Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is more than physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to:
- coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
- economic abuse
- online abuse
- verbal abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
Where to get help
If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the following services which can help you.
If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police – the police will continue to respond to emergency calls
If you are in 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 you having to speak.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline website provides guidance and support for potential victims, as well as those who are worried about friends and loved ones. They can also be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The website also has a form through which women can book a safe time for a call from the team.
Women’s Aid has provided additional advice specifically designed for the current COVID-19 outbreak, including a live chat service.
Men’s Advice Line
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. It can be contacted on 0808 801 0327.
Galop – for members of the LGBT+ community
If you are concerned about how COVID-19 may affect your finances and leave you vulnerable to economic abuse, please see the advice provided by HM Treasury on what support is on offer. The charity Surviving Economic Abuse has also provided additional guidance and support.
Hestia provides a free-to-download mobile app, Bright Sky, which provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.
Chayn provides online help and resources in a number of languages, ranging from identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.
Support for professionals
SafeLives is providing guidance and support to professionals and those working in the domestic abuse sector, as well as additional advice for those at risk.
Support if you are worried about hurting someone
If you are worried about hurting the ones you love while staying at home, call the Respect Phoneline for support and help to manage your behaviour, 0808 8024040.
For more advice and guidance on domestic abuse, please see Domestic abuse: how to get help.
27th March 2020
Many people will be following the national advice around household isolation and social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click link to Government advice to Government advice below:
This advice is in place to limit the spread of the virus and keep as many people as safe and well as possible.
We know that there are vulnerable people in our communities who will be more concerned than others about the prospect of staying at home for a number of reasons, including those who have been the victims of domestic abuse such as violence or coercive and controlling behaviour.
While all public services are adapting to new ways of working during this pandemic, our message to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse is clear: You are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence – we will still be here for you, no matter what.
Merseyside Police, local authorities and providers of domestic abuse support across Merseyside will continue working together to maintain essential services and contacts for anyone affected by domestic abuse during the weeks and months to come.
Support will still be available by telephone, text message or online services.
Who to contact
If you, your child or anyone in the family are at immediate risk of harm, you should contact the police urgently, CALL 999
If you are a Knowsley resident and are experiencing domestic abuse or believe someone you know is please contact :
Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0151 443 2600
Click link below:
Victim Care Merseyside
Further support can also be found at these national agencies:
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Worst Kept Secret Helpline– 0800 028 3398
Refuge (includes information for men) – 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123
26th February 2020
The First Step is pleased to announce that it lends its support to this important Call to Action.
Click here to access the strategy document recently published.
29th January 2020
Thanks have been received from Macmillan Cancer Support for the success of the coffee morning organised by The First Step which raised over £250 which will go towards helping people living with cancer. We add our thanks to all who helped to make this event so special, well attended and enjoyable.
17th December 2019
The Board of Trustees are delighted to announce that The First Step has gained Investors in People status.
Following the initial assessment, accreditation was awarded up to 2022. This reflects how The First Step values and invests in its trustees, employees and volunteers, it is very pleasing to have received recognition of this.
17th December 2019
Santa is on his way …
Everyone is busy getting ready for the Christmas celebrations at our Refuge. The children are excited because Santa will be arriving soon bearing gifts. We are also having Carol Singers, 2 hours worth of entertainment and a fantastic face painter for our Christmas party, which promises to be a fun day for all.
Our thanks to Donors …
We had a fantastic response to our appeal for donations for the women and children which includes toys, selection boxes, gift sets, money for food, shoes, slippers and pyjamas and much more. The kindness shown is over whelming.
Many thanks to our trustees and staff, members of the pubic, professionals, business, and the local Metal Detecting Group for their thoughtfulness and generosity. Our thanks also to the Kirkby Toy Appeal and Radio City Cash for Kids/Mission Christmas.
Wizard of Oz Pantomime …
Our grateful thanks to Adam Ellison Foundation for their generosity in funding the cost of Pantomime tickets. 7 families, including 14 children, all attended and enjoyed quality time together as a family. For many this was the first pantomime they have experienced.
4th October 2017
Staff and service users from The First Step decided they would hold a coffee morning in support of Macmillan Cancer Support last week and what a morning it was!
With a variety of goodies on offer as well as a tombola members of the community, staff from partner agencies and the local Blue Watch from the Huyton Fire Service all came together and managed to raise over £170 for the charity.
A massive well done to all those involved in the preparation and a big thank you to everyone who visited during the day and gave generously to this much needed charity.
If anyone wants to donate further to this cause or needs the help of the Macmillan staff further information can be found at their website
20th October 2016
The First Step would like to say a massive thank you to Becky for her brilliant efforts in the recent Tough Mudder Challenge. She raised a huge £825 with Gift Aid using the Just Giving website. This has been donated to our Service User Fund.
As you can see she looked a little different in her before and after shots! Well done Becky.
23rd February 2016
If you’ve been affected by crime in Merseyside you can visit ‘Victim Care Merseyside’ for independent, impartial help and advice.
8th February 2016
The Be a Lover not a Fighter campaign is re-launching this week to link in with St. Valentine’s Day. This year the focus is on highlighting the impact of domestic abuse on children.
One in three women, and one in six men have suffered domestic abuse – 90% is witnessed by children.
It’s not just physical violence, abuse can be emotional too, like threats and controlling behaviour. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone.
Children who see or suffer domestic abuse are often the forgotten victims. It can seriously affect their physical, emotional and mental health, as well as their behaviour, education and future job prospects. It also increases their risk of suicide, self harm and becoming a victim or a perpetrator of domestic abuse themselves.
For children, the scars can last a lifetime!