Domestic abuse is the use of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between intimate partners or family members. The abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.
Both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse, and both men and women can be the abusers.
You can make a difference
Family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and community members can be a life-line for those living with domestic abuse.
You may be one of the few people that a victim of domestic abuse may be able to speak to.
This means you are in a unique position to help and potentially save lives. We need you to: 1) Be on the lookout 2) Check it out 3) Choose to act
1) Be on the lookout for…
Clothing worn, or heavy make-up, to cover injuries, for example long sleeves or a scarf in hot weather, or sunglasses inside or when cloudy.
Someone who is afraid or anxious to please their partner.
Someone without access to their own money: for example, not being able to pay by card, or trying to use a card in their partner's name.
Someone who is withdrawn and unwilling to engage in friendly conversation.
Someone who is meek, fearful or extremely apologetic.
2) Check it out
Show an interest in the person.
Ask them how they are coping.
Ask them if they need any help.
3) Choose to act
If an individual discloses that they are experiencing domestic abuse, then try to…
Take them to a safe place; this can be a police station, a supermarket or even your own home.
Ask them for their name, address and a phone number which is safe for police to contact them on; record this information.
Tell them that you need to inform the police of what they have told you, so that they can be helped. Call 101 to report or 999 if it is an emergency.
Ideally stay with the person until the police arrive. If they insist on leaving, try to find out a safe way in which the police could contact them.
Reassure them that they do not have to stay with their abuser and can leave anytime to seek help and support from friends, family or support agencies.
If you are suffering from domestic abuse during this time, please remember that we are available 24/7 to protect you, and to provide help and support.