VICTIMS of domestic abuse have been told they are ‘not alone’ as services stay open across Oxford amid the coronavirus crisis.

Despite the country being forced into lockdown, there are no restrictions on people who are fleeing their homes to get help because it is unsafe.

In one week, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline recorded a 65 per cent increase in the number of emergency calls from March 21 to March 28.

Domestic abuse can include coercive control – making somebody feel dependant by isolating them from everybody they know, gaslighting – manipulating somebody to feel ‘crazy’, physical violence and financial, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse.


Social distancing measures are in place, but here are the services which are open and information on how to access them:

  • Sanctuary Scheme

This free service can be used when the abuser is not in the house but the victim still feels unsafe and like they will return.

During the covid-19 pandemic Oxford City Council will be able to change the locks – so nobody can get in without a new set of keys.

However, when the crisis is over the council will put tighter security measures in place.

Call 01865 252969 or email

  • Refuge

A safe house is for women and children who are escaping domestic violence and need to decide what to do next.

Anybody in need of somewhere to go should call Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services (below).

  • Advice

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services, operated by A2 Dominion, gives free advice to adults in Oxford – regardless of their sexuality, ethnicity, immigration status or whether they have children.

Victims can call the local helpline on 0800 7310 055 on Monday to Friday between 10am and 7pm, or email

Calls will not show on home telephone bills but could pop up on itemised mobile bills.

  • Children

Children who are being abused should call the national Childline helpline on 0800 1111.

Anybody in danger should call 999.

If you cannot speak, press 55 – this will transfer you to somebody without having to talk.