If you’re at risk of domestic abuse and you need to escape, you can leave your home - the instruction to stay at home does not apply.
If you’re in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you’re worried about being overheard or it’s dangerous for you to speak, listen to what’s said and try to answer by tapping the phone or coughing. Follow the instructions. If you call 999 from a mobile, press 55 when told to and your call will be transferred to the police.
Ask for ANI codeword scheme
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help, you can ‘ask for ANI’ – pronounced Annie, like the name – in some pharmacies. ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately. Pharmacies that are taking part will display the Ask for ANI logo.
The pharmacy will offer you a private space and a phone. They’ll ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.
If you have any concerns about yourself or another person, you can get support from helplines, chatlines, refuges and other services. These are some of the organisations that can offer free, confidential help and advice:
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247
- in Wales, Live Fear Free Helpline – 0808 80 10 800
- Men's advice line – 0808 8010 327
- Galop for members of the LGBT+ community – 0800 999 5428
- Women's Aid directory of local services, which includes services for men.
For more information and details of other organisations that may be able to help, visit Gov.uk.
Help from your council
If you’re thinking of leaving your home, seek advice. Your local council must give you information about your housing rights if you’re at risk of homelessness. You can also contact Shelter for urgent advice.
Domestic abuse isn’t only physical violence. If you’re experiencing any form of abuse, it’s important to speak out to stop it. Your local council has a duty to keep everyone safe from abuse and neglect. They should have a dedicated safeguarding team for reporting concerns or you can contact their adult social care department. Read our information on different types of abuse for more about how you can protect yourself.