Government Alarm Silences the Sufferers

Phone settings with a dark background
Niamh Rogers

Living a life where domestic abuse engulfs your every thought, your every decision, and your every move, is not a life any of us should have to live. Feeling it’s imperative to have a phone as your ‘lifeline’ is not something any of us should have to bear. Having the urge to hide that phone from your partner, inside an old sock, wrapped in a colour-faded towel, stuffed into a crumpled pillowcase, pushed to the back of the wardrobe, “just in case”, is not a precaution any of us should have to take, but the devastating fact of life is that this truly is some people’s reality.

Your secret lifeline is now no longer a secret, and you find yourself fighting for your life

Now, imagine, it’s 14:50 on what you believe to be your average Sunday on the 23rd  of April. Your partner grunts to you from the living room that they need a top-up of wine. You rush to find a new bottle to open. They thrust their empty glass toward you, and you begin pouring, but the bottle slips from your hand and there’s now wine seeping into the carpet beneath you. Your partner is now angrier than ever, waving their fist towards you as you grab a paper towel and begin blotting at the carpet on your hands and knees. It hits 15:00 and the government alarm alerts every device in your house. Including the phone hidden inside the sock, under the towel, inside the pillowcase, at the back of the wardrobe. Your secret lifeline is now no longer a secret, and you find yourself fighting for your life.

Whilst the government alert is intended to help you avoid danger, in some cases, it actually places you in danger; danger that can be more life-threatening than any natural disaster could ever be.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999

Being able to silence notifications on your phone has never been more important. By going to settings> “emergency alerts”> turn off “severe alerts” and “emergency alerts”- you can keep your lifeline hidden away in that cupboard.

It is important to seek help and support if you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse. If you are in immediate danger, please call 999. There are several reliable helplines that can provide advice, support, and resources to those affected:

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 20000 247
  • Women’s Aid: 0808 2000 247
  • The Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
  • National LGBT+ Helpline (Galop): 0800 999 5428
  • The Mix, free information, and support for under 25s in the UK: 0808 808 4994

Niamh Rogers

Featured image courtesy of Sten Ritterfeld via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

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