Domestic abuse help and support during the Christmas period

Domestic abuse does not stop for Christmas and, at this time of year, it can be confusing to know which support organisations are available to take your call.

We've put together some information on how you can get immediate help and support, along with a list of emergency organisations which can be contacted during the festive period if you or someone you are concerned about needs help.

Dial 999 if you are in immediate danger and ask for the police 

Note: If you can't speak and are calling from a mobile, listen to the operator and, when prompted, dial 55 to connect to the police.

The violence at home signal for help 

This hand signal, first shown on TikTok, has been in the news recently and can be used to signify domestic violence and that help is needed when video calling with family and friends, or when around other people.

Watch this video to learn more:

Image showing hand signal to signify domestic violence and ask for help


'Ask for ANI' at pharmacies

In January 2021, a codeword scheme was launched in Boots and private pharmacies to offer a lifeline to anyone suffering domestic abuse.

By asking for ANI (which stands for 'Action Needed Immediately'), a trained pharmacy worker will offer to take you aside where you can discretely get help to either contact domestic abuse services or the police.

Look for the Ask for ANI logo (see image below).

Ask for Ani


Haven's opening hours over the Christmas period

Our service will close at 5pm on Friday 24th December 2021 and open again at 9am on Tuesday 4th January 2022.

List of helplines

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Free 24 hour helpline for women who have experienced domestic abuse.

0808 2000 247 Open 24/7, 365 days a year


Open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk.

116 123 Open 24/7, 365 days a year

Age UK

Free, confidential national phone service for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals.

0800 678 1602

365 days a year
8am to 7pm


Free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything.

0800 11 11 24 hours

Cruse Bereavement Care

Information and support after a bereavement.

0808 808 1677 Open every day (hours vary)

Men's Advice Line

Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse by a current or ex-partner or family member. Telephone & email support.

0808 801 0327 Hours vary


Mental health information and support.

0300 123 3393 Open Mon - Fri
(hours vary)
Closed bank holidays

NHS Direct

111 (999 in an emergency)


101 (999 in an emergency)

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline (Galop)

Supporting all LGBT+ people who've experienced hate crime, domestic abuse or sexual violence.

0800 999 5428

Open Mon - Fri
(hours vary)


Confidential 24/7 text service offering support if you are in crisis and need immediate help.

Text SHOUT to 85258 Open 24/7