Domestic violence and abuse is very often repeated; can be random and it is the habitual use of intimidation to control another person. This is usually a partner, ex-partner or other family member. It is most commonly committed within the home but tactics can be used out in public.
Violence is the physical assault on another person but abuse can take many forms: emotional, psychological, financial, sexual and within a relationship there can be a combination of some or all of these.
What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic abuse and violence can affect anyone in a close relationship, regardless of their sexuality. Although domestic violence is most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men, remember that men can also be victims.
If you are a victim then it is important to remember that you are not to blame. Domestic abuse is a crime, but taking action against a partner/ex-partner or family member can be hard. There are local and national organisations that can and will give you all the support and advice you need to support you through this difficult time.
Abuse increases when a person leaves or has recently left an abusive partner. Please seek advice from our local services if you are considering leaving.
- What should I do if I’m a victim? [PDF, 104Kb]
- I am a victim – but I want to leave [PDF, 152]
- What can I do I’m just a kid? [PDF, 133Kb]
If you are in immediate danger, phone 999, or get someone else to phone, and state whether you need the police, ambulance or fire service. Move to a safe place, avoiding kitchens or stairs, and stay near a door for a quick escape. If in doubt, get out.
If the situation is not an emergency, but you still need the police, call 101.
If you need general advice, information or support:
Your options and our local specialist services
If you are experiencing domestic abuse or feel you may do in the near future, you should organise a safety plan using the steps below:
- Talk to someone you trust;
- Arrange a safe place to go if you need to leave quickly;
- Prepare a bag of clothes, medication and any important documents such as driving licence, passport, birth certificates, benefit books etc. If it is too risky to keep the originals then take a copy. Leave the bag with a friend or a family member;
- Have a code word for family, friends, neighbours or children so that they can call the Police for you in an emergency;
- Keep a diary of events and any abusive letters, emails or text messages;
- If an argument starts avoid the kitchen, bathroom, garage or any room where there is no escape route or where there is easy access to potential weapons;
- If you have a mobile keep it with you at all times.