Big Brother Watch, Disability Rights UK, Mencap, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and The Survivors Trust have written to Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Martin Hewitt outlining concerns about the treatment of people who are legally exempt from the requirement to wear face coverings, citing “widespread confusion” among police officers.

Big Brother Watch Press release

The letter is available to read here

The Survivors Trust supports calls for the regulation of face coverings in public places to be enforced in a lawful, and sensitive manner.

We recognise that face coverings are important to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, greater clarification is needed to ensure an individual is not unlawfully asked to provide evidence of exemption.

Some survivors of sexual violence are exempt in accordance with government guidelines. For these individuals, being pressured to disclose their trauma to prove exemption could cause severe distress. An unjust, and overzealous enforcement of regulations may exacerbate anxiety and isolation for survivors.

As we all try to navigate these challenging times in the safest ways we can, we urge the police, and general public to act with compassion and kindness. 

No survivor should be pressured to disclose their trauma to prove they are exempt from wearing a face covering. If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please follow all other guidance possible to keep yourself & those around you safe. 
Are you concerned about wearing a mask? - see our tips here and view our downloadable exemption cards.