What is it?
It is threatening behaviour, violence or abuse which takes place between adults who are family members or partners (including ex-partners). This can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.
What should you do?
You should always remember that what is happening to you isn't your fault. Help is always available and you and your children will be supported.
If you feel you need time to think about your situation
Keeping you and your children safe is the most important thing. If you are still living with the abuser think about the following:
• Tell someone you can trust.
• Get help and advice if you can from organisations who can offer support.
• Use a code word with children, family, neighbours or friends to alert them to call the police if you need help.
• Safely make notes of abusive incidents, including times, dates, names, what was said and details of injuries. These notes can be very important when you need to access legal and welfare rights.
• Report any injuries to your GP so there is a record of the abuse.
If you plan to leave
• Pack a bag with essentials, including important documents, telephone numbers, cash cards and any medication you need.
• If you have children, talk to them about your plans if you can and think it is safe. Explain what is happening and take them with you.
• Take identification that might help others to protect you or confirm your identity - for example, a passport, national insurance number etc.
• See a solicitor. They can help you with court orders to prevent your partner assaulting you, and make you aware of your legal rights.
How to get help
Always dial 999 in an emergency
If you are not in any immediate danger, call the police non-emergency number on 101.
National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge 0808 2000 247