Coronation Street stars urge domestic abuse victims to make ‘silent 999’ calls during lockdown


CORRIE stars have put together an emotional video urging victims of domestic abuse to call 999 during lockdown.

Women’s Aid, who provide life-saving services to those in need, is currently assisting the soap’s producers and writers with the coercive control storyline between Yasmeen and Geoff.

Shelley King is one of the faces fronting a new campaign for Women’s Aid

The new video campaign, released in conjunction with Women’s Aid, features some of Corrie’s popular stars explaining how to make a ‘silent call’ on the phone.

Shelley King, who plays Yasmeen, Sair Khan, Sally Dynevor, Sally Carman and past-favourite Julie Hesmondhalgh, explain that by calling 999 and pressing 55, it will let the operator know it’s an emergency and the police are needed.

The important video comes as many charities have revealed their helplines are receiving an increase in domestic violence-related calls as the UK locks down amid the global coronavirus crisis.

But help is at hand for those experiencing physical, sexual, emotional and financial violence.

Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Metcalfe, is also part of the campaign
The actors are all urging those experiencing domestic violence to make a silent call to 999 and pressing 55

Anyone needing help, but fearful an abuser may overhear them calling, can secretly dial 999 and then press 55, which will let the police know they need emergency assistance.

In the series of videos, the Corrie cast say: “The world is going through a really difficult time right now and many of us are isolating at home.

“For anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse, it is no doubt terrifying to be isolated with an abuser.

“If you are in a situation where you are being abused, or you fear that you may be abused, there are measures in place that can help protect you.”

Sair Khan plays Alya and has to watch as Yasmeen is being controlled by Geoff

The video encourages those at risk to keep a mobile phone on them at all times and use the “silent solution” if they’re worried about their abuser overhearing them.

Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, has reported a 120% increase in calls to its helpline, which provides advice and facilitates referrals to refuge accommodation over the current lockdown period.

The Men’s Advice Line, for male victims of domestic abuse, reported an increase in calls of 16.6% in the same week, while the advice line website registered an increase in traffic of 42%.
The Respect, which provides confidential advice to perpetrators of domestic abuse, recorded an increase in hits of 125% on its website and has received 25% more calls as the Covid-19 lockdown continues.

Former Corrie star Julie Hesmondhalg made an impassioned plea for those who need help to reach out

The powerful campaign comes after the Coronation Street’s storyline between Geoff Metcalfe and Yasmeen Nazir revealed the damage of non-physical abuse.

The ITV soap consulted Women’s Aid on the storyline, which was intended to educate viewers on the “invisible prison” created by controlling partners.

If you’re living with domestic violence, there is help out there. You can visit the Women’s Aid website for information about how to protect yourself and other local resources.

You can call the freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 and if you’re in immediate danger call 999, and remember the silent option of pressing 55.