If you are experiencing domestic violence
You have the right to speakabout domestic violence. You are not to blame and that it is the violence, not your ethnicity or sexuality or personality, that is shameful. Your priority is safety and protection, and if you are at risk you are entitled to support. If you are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence, you can call the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence help-line run by Refuge in partnership with Women’s Aid. The more people who know about your situation, the more options you have for support. Telling professionals to record what you say can also help you access your benefits, welfare, housing and legal rights.
We believe that any woman experiencing domestic violence must have access to individual, private, and confidential support. In addition, a group for women experiencing domestic violence can break the isolation and it can help to meet women in similar circumstances, to hear ‘a success story’ and to learn ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’. However, a group is not appropriate for some women and may not provide sufficient time to address each woman’s needs. We do not recommend couples counselling or family therapy, because of the inherent dangers to women and children. The violence of the abuser (the real source of trauma) can be masked behind a focus on communication, parenting or family relationships.
Domestic violence is a crime
Domestic violence is a public crime, not a private matter.
The Crown Prosecution Service defines domestic violence as ‘any criminal offence arising out of physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse by one person against a current or former partner in a close relationship, or a current or former family member’.
This includes many forms of violent or controlling behaviour.
National Helpline: 0808 2000 247