All forms of domestic violence come from the abuser’s desire for power and control over other family members or intimate partners.
The following points can help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship.
- Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting, mocking, accusing, name calling, verbally threatening
- Pressure tactics: sulking, threatening to withhold money, disconnecting the telephone, taking the car away, taking the children away, reporting you to welfare agencies unless you comply the abuser’s demands regarding bringing up the children, lying to your friends and family about you, telling you that you have no choice in any decisions
- Disrespect: persistently putting you down in front of other people, not listening or responding when you talk, interrupting your telephone calls, taking money from your purse/wallet without asking, refusing to help with childcare or housework
- Breaking trust: lying to you, withholding information from you, being jealous, having other relationships, breaking promises and shared agreements
- Isolation: monitoring or blocking your telephone calls, telling you where you can and cannot go, preventing you from seeing friends and relatives
- Harassment: following you, checking up on you, opening your mail, repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you, embarrassing you in public
- Threats: making angry gestures, using physical size to intimidate, shouting you down, destroying your possessions, breaking things, punching walls, wielding a weapon, threatening to kill or harm you and/or the children
- Sexual violence: using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you do not want to have sex, any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation
- Physical violence: punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling
- Denial: saying the abuse doesn’t happen, saying you caused the abusive behaviour, being publicly gentle and patient, crying and begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again
Agencies and organisations to help and support victims of domestic abuse and violence.
In an emergency call 999.
You could speak to your GP, midwife or practice nurse. Otherwise you can speak to one of the organisations listed below in confidence.
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Women’s Aid – 0808 2000 247
Women’s Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children.
Refuge – 0808 2000 247
Refuge’s network of safe houses provides emergency accommodation for women and children when they are most in need.
Victim Support – 0808 16 89111
Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales.
SupportLine – 01708 765200
Telephone helpline which provides confidential emotional support to children, young adults and adults on any issue including domestic violence. Also keeps details of other agencies, support groups and counsellors throughout the UK.
Samaritans – 116 123
Face to face support is available, visit the website to find your local branch.
Confidential support 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing distress or despair and feelings that could lead to suicide.
Rights of Women – Family Law – 020 7251 6577. Criminal Law – 020 7251 8887
Helping women through the law. Free confidential legal advice.
Family law advice line for advice on issues including:
- domestic violence and abuse
- divorce and civil partnership dissolution
- relationship breakdown
- issues relating to children, including parental responsibility, child contact and residence
Criminal law advice line for advice on issues including:
- sexual offences, including rape and sexual assault
- domestic violence and harassment
- reporting offences to the police and the criminal justice system
- the rights of victims, witnesses and defendants
- criminal injuries compensation
The Freedom Programme – 0808 2000 247
The programme is open to any woman who wishes to learn more about the reality of domestic violence and abuse
Childline – 0800 1111
Free and confidential helpline for children and young adults in the UK.
NSPCC – 0808 800 5000
A free, confidential service for anyone concerned about children at risk, including children themselves. The service offers counselling, information and advice.
Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327
Advice and support for men in abusive relationships.
Mankind – 01823 334244
Support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.
Karma Nirvana – 0800 5999 247
Karma Nirvana is a registered charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse.
Forced Marriage Unit
Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a joint initiative with the Home Office.
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 9995428
Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse.