Guidance for Aberdeen City Council Employees experiencing Domestic Abuse while homeworking due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Following the latest Government Announcementall staff who can do their work from home must do so.

Create a personal safe phrase and share with your manager or use "Ask for Angela"

Employee Relations Team

Scotland’s 24hr Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is available on 0800 027 1234


As directed by the government, due to the spread of Covid-19 those who can work from home should do so. However, there are specific challenges and potential risks for those experiencing domestic abuse in the home setting not only for themselves but also for their children and young people.   

Free Online Resource available to help

support people experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse

Those who live with an abuser may feel increased anxiety around the prospect of self-isolation and social distancing, or even quarantine. Additionally, for the many victims/survivors who do not live with their abusers, they may feel an increased level of fear at the prospect of their abuser knowing that they are at home, with the possibility for further surveillance and the opportunities for intimidation and abusive acts that this creates.   

Anyone homeworking and feeling in a vulnerable position can make a safety plan. The Women’s Aid Federation of England has information on making a safety planThere is also advice for covering your tracks online, and an exit site escape button on the website. 

You may not have previously made your line manager aware of your personal circumstances, and there is no requirement for you to do this, but consideration of this under the current circumstances may be something to include in your safety planning, as for some a daily check in with your manager may be the only way you can alert someone you need help. If this is something you would find beneficial please discuss with your manager as soon as possible, when it is safe to do so 

As an alternative to making your line manager aware, you could consider contacting one of the following for similar assistance: – 

In a situation of potential risk, use the every-day phrase [Is Angela in/Available today] to alert your manager. This mirrors the national Ask For Angela scheme in pubs and clubs, and so should be easy to remember. Your manager will be made aware of this signal. If both you and your partner are employed by the council, you can agree with your manager what alternative word or phrase you will use at a time of escalation. On hearing this alert, your manager will ask you to attend a meeting at a Council building (ensuring that social distancing is complied with.) Leaving an abusive situation is regarded in the current situation as being an acceptable reason for essential travel and as such both you and your manager will be complying with the lockdown regulations. Alternatively, you may wish to agree with your manager in advance the action to take if this alert is used – for example the manager can call 999 for you, contact a key worker for you, or advise you to leave your house to seek help.  

Confidential support as well as accommodation can be provided by the  ACC Housing Access and Support Team. To ensure that your confidentiality is maintained, the housing management system can be closed to ensure that only the Housing Access and Support Manager and Case Officer have access to your information. If you would find such support and advice helpful you should contact  

The Council’s Gender Based Violence policy and guidance can be found on the People Anytime portal or is available from line managers.

There are national statements from Scottish Women’s Aid and the Violence against Women and Girls sector regarding the concerns, possible impact and commitment to keep vital services in place but these too will be impacted by the current situation. 

There will be changes regarding how some organisations offer support services over the coming weeks, keeping in mind their own staff’s safety, including providing their service over the phone, online, by text or by email. While services will not be able to operate at their usual capacity, national and local Domestic Abuse services and other relevant services will aim to continue to be available to offer support and guidance including safety planning.  


Support and Advice

Police Scotland: If you are in danger and it is an emergency, call 999. For non-emergencies call 101. Info on domestic abuse here:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline
 (support for men and women) – Free and confidential advice. Open to all. 24 hours a day. Telephone: 0800 027 1234. Website:


Grampian Women’s Aid. Telephone: 01224 593381. Website: Email


Ending Violence and Abuse Aberdeen (EVAA). Telephone: 0300 303 0903.

Website: Email:


Aberdeen City Domestic Abuse Team (support for men and women). Telephone: 01224 538000. Email:


Violence Against Women Partnership. Email:



Fearfree (support for any man and those from the LGBT+ community): Telephone: 01224 560550. Website: Email:


Respect Phoneline (help and advice for those displaying abusive behaviour) Telephone: 0808 8024040. Website:




Domestic Abuse Awareness Raising Tool (DAART). Free, 30 minute online training resource which aims to improve understanding of coercive controlling behaviours, and where to direct people for further assistance:

Grampian Women’s Aid (AWA): 01224 593381 

Advocacy Service Aberdeen: 01224 332314 

Aberdeen Cyrenians: 0300 303 0903 
The national helpline is – 0800 160 1985 

Aberdeen Violence Against Women Partnership


Further support organisations can be found on our People Anytime site here. 

Employees can also access Time for Talking, the Council’s confidential counselling service on 0800 970 3980 or visit the website to chat online. 


The UK Government has published guidance for anyone who is concerned that they might be at risk of domestic abuse, or that they might become an abuser, during the COVID restrictions. This guidance is available on the following link: 

In addition, the Home Secretary has announced a new campaign to offer support to those who are at risk of domestic abuse during the current pandemic. Details of the You Are Not Alone campaign can be found here 

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: Freephone 0800 027 1234  


Web chat at 

The helpline is there to support anyone with experience of domestic abuse or forced marriage as well as their family members, friends, colleagues and professionals who support them.  

National Rape Crisis: 08088 010302 or  

Support for Male Victims of Domestic Abuse 

Respect, Men’s Advice Line (Scotland): 0808 8010327   

Survivors UK provides help for men who have been sexually abused or raped:  
0203 598 3898 

In an emergency situation you should call 999.  


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