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What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is a pattern of abusing and controlling behaviour between those aged 16 or over. Abuse often escalates over time, and is more common than people think. It can happen between partners, by ex-partners and within families, this includes elder abuse or adolescent to parent abuse.
Domestic abuse can include:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Controlling or coercive behaviour
- Violent or threatening behaviour
- Economic/ financial abuse
- Psychological, emotional or other abuse including stalking
Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
See our FAQs below for some of the signs of domestic abuse.
What should I do if I am experiencing domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is a crime and should be reported to the Police. Call 999 if it’s an emergency or if you are in immediate danger.
The Police take domestic abuse seriously and will be able to help and protect you. Contact your local neighbourhood policing team on 101 if it’s not an emergency.
If you don’t feel as though you can talk to the police, contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for some free help and advice. It is a freephone number and operates 24-hours a day.
Our call centre is also open 24 hours a day and we are ready to take your call on 0800 916 1522.
If you do contact the police, you should also make us aware so we can work together to support you.
You should not give up your tenancy unless a solicitor, independent advice centre or the police advise you to do so and you have somewhere else to live.
What can we do to support you?
Once a report has been logged, we will contact you to:
- Discuss your situation and create an action plan with you
- Make reasonable changes to secure your property
- Make sure you are in touch with the right agencies, such as specialist DA teams
- Provide advice on national and local support agencies
- And where appropriate we may refer to the local authority, the police or a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC).
If you contact us about any concerns around domestic abuse, we will maintain strict confidentiality.
During the Covid-19 UK Says No More launched Safe Spaces across the country. UK Says No More is working with Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug, TSB, Well pharmacies and independent pharmacies to provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse. Safe Spaces provide a safe and discreet way to reach out to friends, family, and specialist support services. Find your nearest Safe Space.
Domestic abuse FAQs
I’m worried about someone else, what can I do?
This is a difficult issue, but there are some basic steps you can take:
- Listen – try to understand and not pass blame
- Offer support
- Help report any assault
- Offer to accompany on visits, maybe the GP or the police or even a solicitor
- Explore support and information avenues such as www.womensaid.org.uk
- Offer the use of a phone or a safe space to speak
www.womensaid.org.uk provides a range of information and support tools.
How do I spot the signs of domestic abuse?
Indicators of abuse can change from person to person and over time, but here are some points
- Physical injuries
- Change in type of clothing worn (long sleeves/ scarves/ sunglasses) or use of make up to cover bruises
- Someone afraid of their partner/ family member
- Someone without access to their own money
- Someone becoming withdrawn from family and friends
- Someone who is extremely apologetic
- Unable to use social media/ has phone checked/unable to go out unaccompanied
Victim Support has useful information on recognising the signs.
- Safe Lives – guidance for those suffering domestic abuse www.safelives.org.uk
- Men’s Advice Line – confidential helpline – 0808 801 0327
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 or www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
- Galop – LGBT anti-violence charity, also has a dedicated Trans Advocacy & Community Development Service – 0207 704 2040 or www.galop.org.uk
- Chayn – online help in a number of languages www.chayn.co
- Imkaan – dedicated to addressing violence against Black and Minoritised women and girls www.imkaan.org.uk