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Domestic abuse support is 24/7 in lockdown

SUPPORT remains in place 24/7 in Swansea for people experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse.

Swansea Council’s hi-tech chatbot is still available to provide advice and signposting to get help as part of its domestic abuse services.

It supplements the work of staff at the council’s Domestic Abuse Hub who have continued to provide safety advice and emotional support to those who need it throughout the coronavirus crisis.

As part of the council’s You Are Not Alone campaign, launched to support people at risk of Domestic Abuse through the pandemic, the chatbot is live on the service’s website at: www.swansea.gov.uk/YouAreNotAlone

It’s a way of ensuring that people at risk of domestic abuse have access 24/7 to information and the reassurance that they are not alone and help is available, especially during the COVID-19 firebreak.

The bot ask the user a series of questions to help direct them to the most appropriate support.

Users remain anonymous and the service is completely confidential.

Cllr Louise Gibbard, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have recognised that not every home is a safe place and we have worked to support people experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse.

“We are urging people who feel at risk or who know someone who may need help to use the chatbot to find advice at a time that suits them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Our Domestic Abuse Hub and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors are as committed as ever to providing support and guidance to households where domestic abuse is an issue, and we are working closely with our specialist Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence partners to ensure a coordinated approach across Swansea and to allow our citizens the best opportunity to access the support they need at such a difficult time.

“But we know that for some people, reaching out is not that easy.

“The chatbot is another way to offer an interactive and efficient service to those who are worried about their own situation or have concerns for someone else.

“It allows us to reassure victims and families that there is support available. We can signpost to local or national support services and advice lines which are continuing to operate despite current restrictions, provide information and guidance on what constitutes abuse and the signs and symptoms, and importantly provide concise and accurate advice on safety planning, which has the potential to save lives.”

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