Domestic violence and abuse

What you need to know and where to get help

Abusive relationships can take many forms. Sometimes it is not immediately obvious that abuse is occurring. It can start quite subtly and gradually intensify and affect both men and women.

It can start during pregnancy and not only affects the mother but the baby as well. It can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, infection, injury to the baby and, in severe cases, death.

There are many different types of abuse. It does not always involve violence. It may take the form of coercion, for example your partner may be quite controlling of finances, what you do and who you see.

Domestic abuse can happen in same sex relationships and to both men and women, although it is more common for women to be on the receiving end of it. At least 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse, however we know it is under reported by men.

If you are worried about someone checking up on what you have read online you can to look at this guide by Women’s Aid on how to cover your tracks online.

Women’s Aid are one of the leading national organisations who support women and men living with domestic abuse, the list below covers the different forms of domestic abuse, however abuse may not be limited to all that the list below covers.

If you are unhappy in your relationship take this quiz by Women’s Aid.

The Women’s Aid Survivors Handbook is an essential guide to every aspect of seeking support.

Remember your GP, midwife and health visitor are there to help and support you, and keep you and your children or unborn baby safe.

Never be afraid to ask for or seek help.

Living with an abusive partner takes its toll on everyone including your unborn baby or children. As a parent you try to shield them from what is happening, but children, and even very young children are also affected even if they do not see the abuse, they hear it and pick up the atmosphere at home.

It is important to talk with your children about what is happening as this can help them feel less angry, powerless, and confused. Ask them how they are feeling, listen and acknowledge how they feel and let them know this is not their fault. Women’s Aid have a guide on how you can help your children.

There are lots of useful national organisations that provide helplines, help and support below is a list of the main ones. Your GP, midwife and health visitor will also be aware of the local ones.

Where to get help for men and women

In an emergency, call 999 the Police will always help you.

Ask for ANI scheme was set up in Jan 2021 as a discreet way to allow those in an abusive relationship ask for help and support through their local chemist. By asking for ANI, a trained pharmacy worker will offer a private space where they can understand if the victim needs to speak to the police or would like help to access support services such as a national or local domestic abuse helplines

Making a silent call to ask for help -You call 999 and if you are unable to talk for fear of being overheard, press 55 and your call will be transferred to your local police department as an emergency.

Women’s Aid
Women’s Aid local services can offer help to men too.

Karma Nirvana
Anyone can call Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) for forced marriage and honour crimes. You can also call 020 7008 0151 to speak to the GOV.UK Forced Marriage Unit

The freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 for men and women

Specific Male and LGBTQ+ helplines and organisations

Men’s Advice Line
Call on 0808 8010 327 (Monday and Wednesday, 9am to 8pm, and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 5pm) for non-judgemental information and support

Call on 0182 3334 244 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)

If you are LGBTQ+ you can call Galop on 0800 999 5428 for emotional and practical support


Resources to support your mental health and emotional wellbeing

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