Domestic violence

Consider your children and the effects of violence in the home
It affects them
It frightens them
It harms them
It scars them

Domestic violence is not acceptable - ever!
Domestic violence affects people of every class, age, race, disability, and sexuality. The violence can begin at any stage of a relationship and may continue after the relationship has ended.

Are women the only victims?
It's usually women who are at the receiving end of domestic violence, and it's often men who are responsible. (For male victims, please see helpline further down).

What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is physical or sexual violence and can also include psychological or financial controlling behaviour which is abusive. This takes place within an intimate or family relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.

But I am not physically beaten
Sometimes the abuse is more subtle, like making you feel worthless, not letting you have any money or stopping you from leaving your home. You still need to take advice and protect yourself and your children as emotional abuse can have as damaging an effect as physical abuse. Domestic violence is not caused by alcohol, poverty, drugs or unemployment. It is a result of the abuser's desire for power and control.

Editor's note: Domestic abuse is soon to be outlawed in law

I think I am in danger
If you are in immediate danger, then call 999 for the police.
The police can also generally advise you about your situation: if you do not need urgent assistance, you can call their local number and ask to speak to their Domestic Violence Unit. Be prepared to leave your name and number on an answering machine, they will be careful and discreet when returning your call.

How can I change things?
The beauty of life is that there is always another chance. You cannot change other people but you can make a fresh start.
The law is there to protect everyone who suffers domestic violence. Social isolation and emotional abuse, as well as physical assaults, can have long-lasting effects for all members of the family. We look at how this abuse can affect children.

The NSPCC advises:
Children can themselves be physically abused - witnessing the violence can be damaging

  • Children often try to intervene to protect the adult victim, which puts them in a dangerous situation.
  • Children can copy the violent behaviour they witness, both as children and as adults.
  • They can develop stress related illness.
  • They can lose confidence, be afraid and angry, and blame themselves for what is happening.

Who can help?
The NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 never closes, day or night, someone is there to speak to you. Calls are free except from a mobile and you are never turned away. The NSPCC provide counselling, information and advice to anyone concerned about a child. If you are a child or young person who needs help, an adult concerned that a child may be at risk of abuse or a parent, carer or relative who needs help and advice, call 0808 800 5000.

If you have hearing difficulties phone 0800 056 0566

Who answers my call?
All counsellors are trained child protection officers with many years experience of dealing with families. This service is confidential. You don't have to give your name if you don't want to but remember that these are the people you can trust.

If you have difficulty getting through and you or someone else in your family is in danger, don't hesitate to dial 999.

Contact the NSPCC
Helpline: 24/7 0808 800 5000

Write to:
The NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
PO Box 18222
London EC2A 3RU


This is not an emergency service but they will try to get back to you within 24 hours.
If you need urgent advice, phone 0808 800 5000

Everyone has the right to feel safe and to be safe.
If you need advice for yourself, a friend or a member of the family, call one of the helplines or log onto a website listed below.

If you are in danger and need urgent help, do not fail to dial 999 for the Police. The Family Law Act 1996 provides protection for all victims of any domestic violence and their children. You have the right to be protected. Reach out now.

Women's Aid
Women's Aid is a national charity aiming to end domestic violence against women and children. They offer support and a place of safety to abused women and children by providing refuges and other services. There are over 250 local projects, over 400 refuges, outreach services and advice centres.

How can I contact Women's Aid?
24 hour national domestic violence helpline
Freephone 0808 2000 247
The freephone 24 hour national domestic violence helpline is now run in partnership by Women's Aid and Refuge. Keep trying if this line is busy and, if it is safe for you, leave a message. Someone will get back to you as messages are checked throughout the day.

Women's Aid
PO Box 391
BS99 7WS

My English is not very good
The 24 hour national domestic violence helpline is a member of Language Line and can provide access to an interpreter for non-English speaking callers. The Helpline can also access the BT Type Talk Service for deaf callers
Keep trying if this line is busy or, if it is safe, leave a message.

What does the helpline provide?
The Women's Aid 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline provides support, information and a listening ear to women experiencing (or who have experienced) domestic abuse and to those seeking help on a woman's behalf. Helpline staff will discuss the available options and, if appropriate, refer callers on to refuges and other sources of help and information. Their aim is to enable women to discuss options for action and to empower them to make informed choices to change their life and your children's lives.

Women's Aid in Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 9033 1818 Advice, information, listening, support and referrals. Also runs refuges.
Welsh Women's Aid
Tel: 029 2039 0874 Open Mon to Frid 9.30am to 3.30pm.

They refer you to local Women's Aid offices in Wales. You can leave a message if your call is not urgent. If your enquiry is urgent, either call the police or the helpline below:
Wales domestic abuse helpline 0808 8010 800
This is open every day of the year between 8am to 2pm and in the evening from 8pm to 2am in the morning.

Scottish domestic abuse helpline 0800 027 1234. Open 24 hours a day.

Scottish Women's Aid
National Office Tel: 0131 226 6606 Mondays to Fridays 10am to 4pm except Tuesdays 1-4pm.
Offers information, support and referrals to local groups.
You may also leave a message.
Scottish domestic abuse helpline 0800 027 1234.

Kiran - Asian Women's Aid
Tel: 020 8558 1986 Offers advice, support and refuge for Asian women and women from other cultures e.g. Turkey, Iran, Morocco and Malaysia for example. Helpline open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm. Outside of office hours please phone 08457 023 468.

24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline Freephone 0808 2000 247 The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline is now run in partnership by Women's Aid and Refuge. Keep trying if this line is busy and, if it is safe for you, leave a message. Someone will get back to you as messages are checked throughout the day.

Refuge offers:
A confidential 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline.
Safe, emergency accommodation through a growing network of refuges.
Individual and group counselling for abused women.
A resettlement service offering continued emotional and practical support during a woman's stay in a refuge and after she has been rehoused.
An outreach project for women from minority ethnic communities.
Refuge also offers a children's programme as detailed below.
A unique children's programme from Refuge
In 90% of domestic violence incidents, children will be in the same room, or in an adjacent room. Refuge's pioneering children's programme helps children come to terms with the violence they may have witnessed or experienced themselves. This includes group and one-to-one counselling with child psychologists, full time nursery care, a holiday programme and an after school club for children living in the refuges. This is a unique and ground breaking project, which helps up to 600 children every year, offering the chance to learn new social and communication skills which the children can use to avoid violence in their own lives. The Refuge Children's Programme is a recognised model of excellence.

The Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline
24 Hour service on 0808 8010 800
The helpline provides a bilingual free and confidential information and support service to anyone experiencing domestic abuse, someone that is concerned about someone they know, or for other agencies.

Advice Guide
To read more information (this CAB guide applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) about what you can do, visit the Domestic Violence Guide at

If you need help with finding a solicitor who is experienced in domestic violence, please tell us your nearest large town and whether you will be paying fees or need a solicitor with legal aid.
You can contact the Divorce Violence Solicitor

Samaritans are always there for you, day or night, 24 hours, on 08457 90 90 90

Male domestic violence
Mens Advice Line & Enquiries
The MALE helpline provides a range of services aimed primarily at men experiencing domestic abuse from their partner.
They help male victims by:
Giving men a chance to talk about their experiences
Providing emotional supportProviding practical advice
Providing sign-posting to a range of services including housing and legal options
Providing solutions that are focussed on the needs of our callers
Non-judgmental approach
Informed by research
Led by practice

Call the Mens Advice Line on 0808 801 0327
This is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 4pm and we are informed that it's free from landlines and most mobiles. An answer machine operates out of these hours.
You can also email them at
Please see their excellent website for a range of information and leaflets (for women and worried friends and relatives also) at

Men: are you abusive towards your partner?

Are you worried about your behaviour towards your partner?
Have you been violent or abusive?
Do you think you have a problem controlling your anger with her?
Is she ever scared of you?

First of all, we know it can be tough facing up to difficult problems. We want to support you to make the changes you need, so that you are safe around your partner and kids (if you have them).

Call the Respect Phoneline 0845 122 8609
The Respect Phoneline is open:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10-1 and 2-5

CALL US: 0845 122 8609 (same cost as a local call if you ring from a landline)
TEXT US: 07624 818 326
You can leave a message when the lines are closed or busy and we’ll get back to you within 2 working days.

Everyman Project
1A Waterlow Rd
N19 5NJ
Tel: 0207 263 8884


Provides counselling, support and advice to men who are violent or concerned about their violence, and anyone affected by that violence.
If you are a man and need information about counselling, please ring the above number and leave a message including your name, address and post code. Information will then be sent to you in the post. You could have a look at their new website. Please kindly say that you found them via this site.
Tel: 0207 263 8884
This offers information, advice, and telephone counselling between 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings to men who are concerned about their violence or abuse and to any person affected by a man's violence or abuse.

Rights of Women
52-54 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT.
Fax: 020 7490 5377. Email:

This a women's voluntary organisation committed to informing, educating and empowering women concerning their legal rights. Founded in 1975, they offer free confidential legal advice to women on their advice line. Please note that advice is only given over the phone and not in person or by any other means except for referrals to other agencies and information leaflets. Advice is only given in English but some publications are translated into other languages. Please ask. They also offer specialist advice in family law, divorce and relationship breakdown, children and contact issues, domestic violence, sexual violence, discrimination and lesbian parenting. Publications
They provide education on women's rights through several publications. These include the Domestic Violence DIY Injunction Handbook, information sheets on key issues of family law, and publications on key issues relating to women and the law.

P.S Female volunteer lawyers often required. Check their website.

Advice Line
Free legal advice for women by women:
Tel: 020 7251 6577 Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 2-4pm and 7-9pm.

Also open Friday, 12-2pm.
Confidential advice on: Divorce and relationship breakdown, Children and contact issues, Domestic violence, Sexual violence, Discrimination and Lesbian parenting.
If you have trouble getting through, try in the evening. This is of course due to demand. In the meantime, you can always check out the advice on their website at:
You can speak to a qualified woman solicitor or barrister and get legal help for free.

You do not have to be a member to obtain advice but please remember that membership enables this organisation to grow. Maybe when times are better, you could fill in their online membership form and pass the word round. Please mention Divorce Aid if you contact them. Also see our Legal article

"God give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed; COURAGE to change the things that SHOULD be changed; And the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."
R. Niebuhr

Have the courage to speak up and get help, the courage to accept assistance to change the things that should be changed and the wisdom to know that you are doing the right thing. You and your children have the right to feel safe. You are not alone. There are many people and new laws to assist you.
Please reach out.

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