Domestic abuse and violence can happen to anyone. You are not alone and there is help available
If you are experiencing domestic abuse or if you know someone who may be, then it is important to talk to someone!
Domestic abuse does not always involve violence, coercive and controlling behaviour and financial abuse are as important forms of domestic abuse.
What is Domestic Abuse?
The UK government’s definition of domestic violence is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.’
Domestic abuse can take different forms, including:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- financial abuse
- coercive control / emotional abuse
- digital / online abuse
- honour-based violence
- forced marriage
- female genital mutilation (FGM).
In an emergency, dial 999
The Council (as part of the Safer Rother Partnership) continues to encourage and support the residents of Rother to report Domestic Abuse and assist residents to access support services. A significant part of the Partnerships role is to educate and develop resident’s understanding of the nature of abuse and what we as residents and agencies can do to help victims. The Council also provides advice and support for victims of domestic abuse
Sadly domestic abuse happens every day, in every part of the UK. It is a crime that cuts across all social, cultural and religious boundaries. It can affect anybody. Whether you’re a victim of domestic abuse, or aware of an abusive relationship, there is help and support out there, you’re not alone. Reports of domestic abuse is rising and it is not just women who are victims of domestic abuse, almost one out every five domestic abuse incidents reported involve male victims – and just under half of these are committed by a female abuser. It is not acceptable in any circumstances.
Questions to help you discover if you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse:
- Are you afraid of your partner?
- Do you feel isolated, bullied or belittled?
- Does your partner cut you off from friends or family?
- Does your partner verbally abuse you?
- Does your partner physically hurt you?
- Do you feel as if you are walking on egg shells?
- Do you change your behaviour to avoid triggering an incident?
- Does your partner threaten you or your children?
- Does your partner control the money?
- Does your partner force you to have sex or make unreasonable demands?
- Does your partner accuse you of being unfaithful?
- Does your partner say you are useless and couldn’t cope without them?
- Does your partner have sudden changes of mood which dominate the house?
- Is your partner charming one minute and abusive the next?
- Are you afraid of making your own decisions?
If you (or they) have answered yes to one or more of these questions you (or they) may be experiencing domestic abuse
Please talk to someone you trust about it, a friend, your health visitor, your GP or call your local Domestic Abuse Helpline.
It is important for you to know that:
- people will believe you
- you are not alone
- it is not your fault
- you have the right to feel safe and live free of abuse
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is often called ‘Clare’s Law’ after the landmark case that led to it. Clare’s Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them.
Under Clare’s Law a member of the public can also make enquiries into the partner of a close friend or family member.
If you are in an abusive relationship and are in immediate danger don’t hesitate to call the police on 999.
Otherwise, if at all possible, tell someone, and there will be services to help you wherever you live
If you know someone who may be in an abusive relationship:
The nature of domestic abuse often means that the abuse happens in secret and may escalate over time. If possible, try to support them to seek help early before the risk of harm increases for them and any children. If you are worried a friend or relative is being abused, let them know you have noticed something is wrong. They might not be ready to talk but try to find quiet times when they can talk if they choose to.
If someone confides in you that they’re suffering domestic abuse:
- listen, and take care not to blame them
- acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse
- give them time to talk, but don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to
- acknowledge they’re in a frightening and difficult situation
- tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the abuser has said
- support them as a friend – encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions
- don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they’re not ready – that’s their decision
- ask if they have suffered physical harm – if so, offer to go with them to a hospital or GP
- help them report the assault to the police if they choose to
- be ready to provide information on organisations LINK that offer help for people experiencing domestic abuse
National Support and Websites:
24 Hour National Helpline – Freephone 0808 2000 247
Galop (LGBT) –0800 9990 5428
Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327
Respect – (Are you hurting the one you love, help for perpetrators of Domestic Abuse) 0808 802 4040
Local Support Services:
- Sussex Police – Telephone 999
- The Domestic Abuse Service – helps you to find advice and support in East Sussex. If you’ve been affected by domestic or sexual abuse or violence in Brighton & Hove, or East Sussex, get in touch to find out more about the help, advice, and support available.
Freephone: 0300 323 9985
Our campaign #handsforchange is a way to raise awareness and encourage everyone to join the movement to stop Domestic Abuse by taking a picture of the palm of their hands using the hashtag #handsforchange.
By sharing pictures everyone is coming together and literally raising their hand in support of victims everywhere. The hand can be raised or being flat on a surface, whichever Is easier for the person.