Domestic Violence & Abuse

Domestic violence and abuse is when someone over the age of 16 in a family or relationship, threatens, bullies, or abuses another person over the age of 16 (physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially). Most victims are women but domestic violence happens to men too. In nine out of ten cases, children are in the same or next room when the violence is going on.
Are you worried about your behaviour towards your partner?
 
Have you been violent or abusive?
Do you shout at your partner a lot?
Is your partner ever scared of you?
 
CHOOSE TO STOP
 
Call the
Respect Phoneline 0808 802 4040
 
You can call them if you want to discuss your use of violence or abuse or if you are not sure about certain behaviours. They can also give you information about specialist programmes designed to help abusive partners change their abusive behaviours

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence useful support and advice is available from the following national helplines and organisations:
 

National Domestic Violence Helpline 24hr Freephone – 0808 2000 247
 

Women’s Aid
 
Refuge
 
National Centre for Domestic Violence
 
The Survivor’s Handbook Provides practical support and information for women experiencing domestic violence
 
If you are a male victim of domestic violence, contact:
 

Men’s Advice Line – Helpline for male victims of domestic abuse – 0808 801 0327
How does it affect children?
 
  • Domestic violence may teach children to use violence
  • Violence can affect children in serious and long-lasting ways
  • Where there is domestic violence, there is often child abuse
  • Children will often blame themselves for domestic violence
  • Alcohol misuse is a very common contributing factor when violence occurs in families
  • Pregnant women are more vunerable to domestic violence
 
Children who witness, intervene or hear incidents are affected in many ways. What can be guaranteed is that children do hear, they do see and they are aware of abuse in the family. Children will learn how to behave from examples parents set for them. Domestic violence teaches children negative things about relationships and how to deal with people. For instance:
 
  • It can teach them that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict
  • They learn how to keep secrets
  • They learn to mistrust those close to them and that children are responsible and to blame for violence, especially if violence erupts after an argument about the children

Children are affected in many ways by abuse, even after a short time. These effects include: feeling frightened, becoming withdrawn, bedwetting, running away, aggressiveness, behavioural difficulties, problems with school, poor concentration and emotional turmoil.
 
The longer children are exposed to abuse, the more severe the effects on them are.

What Can I Do?

Domestic violence is a crime, never hesitate to call the police who have specialist officers trained to help you and put you in touch with other agencies who can help you with safety planning, housing issues, drug or alcohol problems or give details of solicitors who can assist you with the legal side of things.  

There are also free services for women and men experiencing domestic violence to access advice and support on a wide range of issues. Links to these organisations who can help and support you are on the right hand side of this page. 
 
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