Domestic abuse is not just physical abuse and there is lots of help available for you.
Domestic abuse happens in all walks of life. It can happen to anyone, both men and women in same-sex as well as opposite-sex relationships.
Domestic violence is:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”*
*This definition includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Domestic abuse can affect anyone and can involve any of the following:
- Physical abuse
This can include punching, slapping, pulling hair, biting, burning and choking.
- Financial abuse
This can include being kept without money or forced to account for your spending and having your wages or benefits taken from you.
- Emotional abuse
This includes being verbally abused or made to look stupid in front of other people and not being allowed to see family or friends.
- Sexual violence
This includes rape, sexual assault, being forced to watch or take part in pornography and indecent phone calls.
This includes verbal or physical threats and being watched, followed or pestered.
- Honour Based Violence
This includes forced Marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and dowry Abuse
If any of the above applies to you, or you are worried about somebody, there are places you can go and people you can talk to. Visit the Hampshire Domestic Abuse website
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme came into force across the country in March 2014. It allows the public to formally ask police for information about someone if there are concerns that person is abusing their partner or former partner. Click here for more information.
What you can do if you are involved in domestic abuse
In an emergency, if you are being attacked or abused
- Call 999 immediately to alert police
- Stay away from the kitchen
- Get to a room with a door or window so that you can escape
- Call for help
- Get out of the house
Have a safety plan
- Carry a list of phone numbers of people and organisations who can help you.
- Carry a mobile phone or make sure you know where you can make phone-calls from in safety.
- Try to save up and carry some money with you so that you can use telephones, public transport or taxis.
- Have your own set of keys for your house or car.
- Keep these and your money in a safe place so that you can get to it quickly if you need to leave in a hurry.
- Plan in advance where you would go and what you would need to take if you had to leave (this includes things like birth certificates, school and medical records, money, driving documents, cheque book, passport, clothing and children's toys).
- Make sure these are in a safe place where you can get to them quickly.
- Contact support organisations for advice about where to go.
- If you are planning to leave, it is best to avoid confrontation by leaving when your partner is not there.
If you live alone or not with the person who is abusing you
- Change the locks and install window locks.
- Get advice from your local police.
- Use an answering machine to screen your calls
- Have an ex-directory number
- Inform neighbours of the situation so that they can contact the police if they see or hear anything unusual.
Other steps you can take
- Inform someone you trust at work about your situation
- Plan differing routes home from work and avoid routines
- Make sure no one passes on your new details if you have had to move or change phone number
Talk about it
- Children do not have to see violence to be affected by it. They hear it and sense it, and can be frightened and saddened by it. Talk to your children and tell them its not their fault. There are organisations who can specifically help children who need to talk about things that are upsetting them.
- Talk to your friends, relatives, doctor or nurse about how you are feeling.
Help and Support
|Police||Hampshire Constabulary 101.
In an emergency, dial 999
|Crimestoppers||If you suspect that a friend, neighbour or relative may be a victim, and would like to report it anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.|
|National 24 hour Domestic Violence Helpline||
Jointly run by Refuge and Women's Aid
0808 2000 247
Provide information, support and practical help 24-hours a day to women experiencing domestic violence. Can refer women and children to refuges throughout the UK to enable them to escape domestic abuse.
Phone line for domestic violence perpetrators (people who commit domestic abuse) and (ex) partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about a perpetrator.
0845 122 8609
|Women's Aid National Helpline||
Confidential advice on legal and practical options available and refer to other support services.
0845 3030 9000
Free phone line offering counselling and support to children and young people.
A national helpline for men who are violent or are concerned about the effects of their violence. Can provide telephone counselling and advice about local services.
0207 7376747 (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
|Men's Advice Line||malesurvivor.org
0845 0646800 (Monday - Thursday, 10am-5pm)
|Male Victim Helpline||
0845 064 6800
|Victim Support, Hampshire & Isle of Wight||
Confidential support for people affected by crime. You do not have to have reported incidents to the police to get support
If you're worried about having nowhere to go if you leave an abusive partner. Can provide emergency access to refuge services.
0808 800 4444
|Asian Women's 24-Hour Helpline||
|NSPCC Child Protection||
For anyone concerned about a child at risk - offers information, support and counselling.
0845 4647 (24 Hour Nurse Advice)
Information and advice on domestic abuse, including links to national and regional organisations.
Confidential advice for 9-16 year olds living with domestic abuse.
Counselling Directory only lists counsellors and psychotherapists who are registered with a recognised professional body or those who have sent copies of their qualifications and insurance cover.
DeafHope is the only sign-language based service designed to help Deaf women and children who suffer domestic violence.
Young DeafHope is a unique project working with young Deaf people of eleven years and older, to raise awareness of abuse and domestic violence.