Violence Against Women and Girls / Gender Based Violence Services during Coronavirus COVID-19, 7th April 2020

We are aware that the current conditions may be causing additional stress and risk for survivors of gender based violence and their families and we want to reassure you that you are not alone and you can get help.   

This is information on our local services and national helplines until further notice. Most of our specialist services are still taking referrals and maintaining support for public health and safety.

Women’s Aid East and Midlothian (WAEML)

WAEML remains open for support for domestic abuse for women and children and young people. Although all sites are closed to the public the staff team are largely working from home. Service hours:  Monday – Friday 9am–4pm (closed Easter weekend Friday 10th & Monday 13th April).   

  • Contact details:  Tel:  0131 561 5800 /  Email: info@womensaideml.org
  • Facebook: Womens Aid East and Midlothian / Twitter: @WomensAidEML
  • New referrals:  Open by Phone, Email, Social Media
  • Outreach Support: Open (delivery of support agreed with service user – email/phone/skype/Zoom).  All service users have direct contact number/shift pattern with key workers.
  • Refuge: Open for admission (Air BnB style admission) – please phone to check refuge availability
  • Group Work: ON HOLD although some groups have private Facebook groups and some classes are being delivered by Zoom. 

For information contact Julie Watson, CEO: julie@womensaideml.org /mobile 07590 226588

Domestic Abuse Service (DAS) / Domestic Abuse Referral Pathway / MARAC, East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Office

Both DAS and the Pathway are open from 9.00-4.00pm. Staff are working from home providing support by phone and email with no face to face contact for the moment. All service users have their case-worker’s number.  Referrers can submit referrals or ask for advice as normal and we will continue to respond to child/adult protection concerns and contribute to critical meetings. For information email: DAS@eastlothian.gov.uk

East Lothian and Midlothian MARACs continue every 4 weeks to protect survivors of domestic abuse at risk of serious harm with new arrangements from April till further notice.  We have circulated alternative arrangements for the MARAC process to MARAC representatives; the referral process remains the same, including the timelines for referrals and circulation of MARAC Agenda. For information contact: MARAC@eastlothian.gov.uk]

Shakti Women’s Aid

We provide support to BME women, children, and young people experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse from a partner, ex-partner, and/ or other members of the household. Currently support is by phone on 0131 475 2399 http://shaktiedinburgh.co.uk

FearFree domestic abuse service for men and any LGBT+ person

We continue to provide support by phone, text, WhatsApp on 0131 624 7266 / https://fearfree.scot

Midlothian and East Lothian Sexual Abuse Services for women

These services are currently closed to new referrals.  Survivors already receiving support will continue to be supported by phone/email/text and by their ERCC support worker about support sessions.  If you have experienced rape or sexual assault in the last 7 days, please contact support@ercc.scot . You can also get support from the National Rape Crisis Helpline, open every night from 6pm to midnight: 08088 01 03 02, or the textline: 07537 410 027.   We appreciate that waiting for our referral list to reopen can be difficult. Please see this link for alternative counselling services

Housing and Homelessness

East Lothian Council:  Most services are continuing to operate, find out at: https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/210550/housing  or phone 01620 827827

  • Homelessness assessments continue to be carried out via the phone.
  • Prevention Team can also be contacted via phone.
  • Tenants can get in touch with Housing Officer via phone.
  • The voids team continue to work on empty properties to bring them up to standard.  Where a risk assessment has taken place – allocations will continue.
  • Please note that the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 brings in a number of temporary measures to protect tenants from eviction. 

Midlothian Council:  All public offices are currently closed. 

The homeless service will operate as follows:

  • Contact 0131 271 3397 for advice and support during normal working hours or email homelessness.enquiries@midlothian.gov.uk
  • An emergency homeless service is provided out with normal working hours. Contact 0131 663 7211.

For general housing enquiries -phone 0131 271 3394 / email housing.enquiries@midlothian.gov.uk

NATIONAL HELPLINES AND EMERGENCY NUMBERS

  • Police Scotland – In an emergency always call 999 – otherwise 101
  • National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline – for anyone:  Open 24/7.  Phone: 0800 027 1234 / Email: helpline@sdafmh.org.uk / Webchat: buff.ly/2Muc8sK
  • Rape Crisis Scotland:  08088 01 03 02 (6pm – midnight)
  • Survivors UK help for men who have been sexually abused or raped:  0203 598 3898 /  help@survivorsuk.org / https://www.survivorsuk.org/
  • CLICK for women selling/exchanging sex: Anonymous online chat support 24 hours per week: for times, please see our website https://www.click.scot/ -Twitter @click_scotland
  • National Stalking Helpline – 0808 802 0300 (daily 9:30– 4pm;Wednesday 1–4pm)
  • Scottish Women’s Rights Centre helpline: 08088 00789
  • Revenge Porn helpline:  email help@revengepornhelpline.org.uk
  • Victim Support Scotland’s helpline: 0800 160 1985 (Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm)
  • Breathing Space helpline: 0800 838587 (Mon-Thurs 6pm-2am/Fri 6pm-Mon 6am)
  • Are you hurting the one you love? Choose to stop! Contact Respect for help: call 0808 802 4040 / http://respectphoneline.org.uk/ for information and webchat.

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