Sexual abuse and violence is not your fault - but there is help available

Published: 07 May 2020

Coronavirus updates


Sexual abuse and violence is not your fault - but there is help available

Lockdown is not an excuse for abuse

Domestic abuse does not respect social distancing rules, so we know that, sadly, being in lockdown might escalate abuse.

We have unfortunately seen a rise in website traffic looking for information and help with sexual abuse and sexual violence.

If you are trapped in a house with the person or persons responsible for this abuse, then it is important to know that, whatever the perpetrator tells you:

  • you are not to blame for what has happened
  • it is not your fault

If you are frightened or suffering physically or emotionally then you deserve help. We would urge you to report this to the police, but we know that you may be afraid to do so.

If you decide to call 999 but you are unable to speak press 55 once the operator speaks and officers will be sent to your location.

You can report sexual assault or rape by calling 101.

It’s good to talk

If you decide that you want to talk to someone, but you do not want to report the assault to the police there is help for you and you can still talk to someone about what has happened to you.

The assault may have taken place sometime ago and the lock down situation might impact how you are feeling right now. Without being free to go out when you like and not being able to socialise, might make you feel trapped and anxious.

Seeking help online or over the phone might enable you to feel in control of your feelings and emotions. Here are some useful contacts and resources:

The Emerald Centre

The Emerald Centre SARC offers support and practical help to anyone on Bedfordshire & Luton who has experienced sexual violence and or sexual abuse. Even if the incident is historical, they will listen to you.

Call 01234 842750 or email.

National Male Survivor Helpline

This is a dedicated helpline for men who have been sexually assaulted or raped

Email or text: 07860 027573


Contact Signpost to speak to someone confidentially about what has happened to you.

Call 0800 0282 887 and leave a message, someone will get back to you.

Email, or go to the self-referral form on their website

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm

Saturday: 9am-5pm

Closed bank holidays.

Out of hours you can leave a voicemail and you will be called back.


Galop provides a free, confidential and independent service for all LGBT+ people who have experienced sexual assault, violence or abuse, however or whenever it happened.

Sexual Violence Support Service: Phone: 020 7704 2040 (ask to speak to someone from the Sexual Violence Support Service)

Email or report online

Rape Crisis

Visit the Rape Crisis website to find out more about support in your area.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

You can speak to the 24/7 free National Domestic Abuse Helpline about abuse or your unhealthy relationship. Call 0808 2000 247.

Respect Men’s Advice Line

Male victims of domestic abuse can contact Respect Men’s Advice line, it’s a freephone 0808 8010 327.

COVID-19 supporting vulnerable residents

Sign up for email alerts on council information

Stay up to date with COVID information and advice from the council – visit and sign up for email alerts to tell you when the information on the pages below are updated.

Think you have symptoms?

NHS 111 service


Do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.
Find out what to do if you think you have symptoms

Stay at home