What is domestic abuse?
It is threatening behaviour, violence or abuse which takes place between adults who are family members or partners (including ex-partners). Domestic abuse can be one of the following, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these types of abuse you need to get help:
Physical abuse: Pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking and using weapons.
Sexual abuse: Forcing or pressuring someone to have sex (rape), unwanted sexual activity, touching, groping someone or making them watch pornography.
Financial abuse: Taking money, controlling finances, not letting someone work.
Emotional/psychological abuse: Making someone feel bad or scared, stalking, blackmailing, constantly checking up on someone, playing mind games.
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. Lancashire Victim Services is supported by Lancashire Police and Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner – here you will be able to access local help from services that are available 24/7.
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.
Help for Young People
If you are under sixteen and in a relationship with someone, you should feel loved, safe, respected and free to be yourself. If you are worried and need help visit our young persons' website TrustEd or check out the Disrespect Nobody national website.
There is a national Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme which allows those who are concerned about the violent or abusive history of their partner or the partner of someone that they know, to contact the police and formally request information. To see more, visit our Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme page.
Pan-Lancashire Domestic Abuse Plan
The extent and nature of domestic abuse is nationwide and can happen at any given time in any family. The effects on children witnessing and being involved in domestic abuse can be devastating. Lancashire Constabulary have identified, for many years, domestic abuse as one of our core priorities. We have ensured that we have worked together with our partners to more effectively direct our efforts in tackling this crime. We have put in place a Pan-Lancashire Domestic Abuse Action Plan which is very much partnership focussed to most effectively tackle the problem of domestic abuse within Lancashire. The plan is broken down into 6 areas:- Leadership & Governance, Initial Investigation, Victim Safety, Risk Assessment, Data & Performance Management & Management of Perpetrators. Work stream leads have been identified from district/county council, Voluntary sector and Police to ensure and scrutinise activity and progress in all of the 6 areas identified.
From September 2016 Lancashire Constabulary will be introducing Domestic Abuse Victim Surveys. A number of victims/survivors of domestic abuse will be contacted and asked to provide their thoughts as to the treatment and quality of investigation they received from Officers and Staff from Lancashire Constabulary regarding an incident of domestic abuse they were involved in. The results of the feedback received will assist the Constabulary in improving and developing the quality of our response to Victims/survivors of domestic abuse.