If you’re feeling controlled, unable to make your own decisions, scared, intimidated or threatened by your partner or a family member, you’re being abused. Your relationship doesn’t have to be physically violent to be abusive.
Healthy relationships aren’t like this. It isn’t your fault.
Domestic abuse can affect you and your children. As well as your mental and physical health, your home, access to resources and immigration status. Your employment can also be at risk.
What can you do?
Open the tabs below to find out more.
If you’re being verbally or physically abused at home, prepare now for a time when you may be in danger.
- Write down dates and times of when you’ve been physically or verbally abused. Go to A&E or see your GP if you have been injured. All notes they make of your injury will be fully confidential by law.
- Keep your phone charged and on you at all times, in case you need to make emergency calls.
- Keep your passport and copies of important documents in a safe place outside the home. You might want to choose a trusted friend or relative to leave them with.
- Report any violence or criminal damage to the police.
- Tell a friend, family member or your employer about what’s been happening.
It isn’t safe to retaliate. If the situation escalates, you could get hurt, or end up hurting the abuser. If the police are called and you’re seen as the abuser, you could be arrested.
Instead, try to leave any situation which may become violent.
Male victims of domestic abuse often tell us that they don’t want to involve the police. They’re worried about the abuser getting into trouble, and don’t think the police will believe them or take action.
The police will take your allegations seriously, but they can only help if you report the abuse in the first place.
What to expect
- First, the police will take immediate steps to stop the violence, such as making sure you and your children are safe, and arresting the abuser and escorting them from the property.
- You and any witnesses will be asked for statements, so that the police can investigate what happened.
- The police will collect evidence. This might include taking photographs of any damage and injuries to you or your children.
- You and your abuser will be spoken to separately.
- You’ll be kept informed of the progress of the case.
If you are frightened or in danger, call 999.
Is there help for the abuser?
Open the tabs below to find out more.
Once an abuser recognises that their behaviour is unacceptable, there is support for them to change it.
Consider whether approaching your partner about getting help to change will put you or your children at risk. If you think your partner might become angry or violent when you talk to them, talk to us at Men’s Advice Line first.
If your abuser recognises that they have a problem, they can call the confidential Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040. All calls are free from landlines and mobile phones within the UK.
They can also visit www.respectphoneline.org.uk for information and support.
There’s specialist support out there to help your partner change their behaviour. Unfortunately, there’s no knowing how long change will take or whether their behaviour will change for good.
Open the tabs below to find out more.
Shelter – England, Scotland and Wales
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services.
Helpline: 0808 800 4444
Web chat and online local service finder
Crisis – England and Scotland
Crisis formed in 1967, as an urgent response to the growing homelessness crisis. They help homeless people find and keep a rented home by working with landlords to ensure a supply of places to live, and giving homeless people the tools and knowledge they need to rent successfully.
Housing Team: 020 7426 5685
Use their database to find “Help to Rent” schemes around the country.
Check if you are eligible for legal aid
Law Centres Federation
Law Centres defend the legal rights of people who cannot afford a lawyer. They are specialists working in their local communities to uphold justice and advance equality. http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/
Umbrella organisation for family law solicitors in England and Wales holding a database of 6500 family law professionals.
Civil Legal Advice
Provides specialist legal advice to people across England and Wales who qualify for legal aid. They can help with debt, education, discrimination, housing and family issues.
Telephone: 0345 345 4 345
Citizens Advice Bureau
Their network of charities offers free confidential advice, information and support in many areas of need. Online search for your nearest office.
Child Law Advice Line
Operated by Coram Children’s Legal Centre, they provide specialist advice and information on child, family and education law to parents, carers and young people in England.
Helpline: 0300 330 5480
Legal matters – FAQ Wales
A charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay. Find free legal advice clinics close to you through their website.
Support Through Court
Trained volunteers providing a free service across England and Wales, offering support and guidance before, during, and after court ensuring those facing court alone feel prepared and supported in accessing justice.
Contact numbers by region https://www.supportthroughcourt.org/contact-us/
National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline
Support and advice to LGBT+ people who experience domestic violence and abuse, sexual violence or hate crime.
Telephone: 0800 999 5428 (Mon & Thur 10-8pm, Tue & Wed 10-5pm and Fri 1-5pm)
UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group
UKLGIG supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex (LGBTQI+) people through the asylum and immigration system.
Telephone: 020 7922 7811 (Mon- Fri 9am – 5pm)
Cafcass – (Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service)
Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. They put children’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting, and that decisions are made in their best interests.
A national family support charity providing help and support to families who are struggling.
National Helpline: 0808 800 2222
The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline provides support and expert advice on dealing with a break-up, going back to work, child maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues. Their advisers will talk through your options and send you useful information.
Helpline: 0808 802 0925
Are the leading UK charity specialising in parental child abduction providing advice, information and support to parents, family members and guardians who have had a child abducted or who fear child abduction.
Helpline: 0116 2556 234
Telephone: 0116 2555 345
Family Rights Group
A charity in England and Wales that works with parents whose children are in need, at risk or in the care system and with wider family members who are raising children unable to remain at home. Advice to parents, grandparents, relatives and friends about their rights when social workers and courts make decisions about children.
Helpline: 0808 801 0366
Since 1999, an independent organisation of professionals giving divorce information and advice to people based in the UK and internationally with a UK connection online. http://www.divorceaid.co.uk/
Simple free law advisor online
An online service offering articles and information about divorce, family, civil litigation, estate and employment law including access to solicitors.
National Family Mediation
Helpline families in conflict, especially those in divorce or separation. Family mediation is quicker and more cost-effective than court..
Telephone: 0300 4000 636
A volunteer run social enterprise to help people who are going through a breakup. They are the largest online divorce support community in the world with over 150,000 registered members.
Telephone: 0800 44 88 66 44 (free from landlines) or 01202 80 50 20 (low cost from mobiles)
Money Advice Service
Free impartial money advice service set up by the government.
Telephone: 0800 138 7777 (English) or 0800 138 0555 (Welsh)
A debt advice service covering the UK to help people with debt problems.
Telephone: 0800 138 1111
The leading mental health charity in England and Wales offering counselling, mindfulness, groups, activities, advocacy support and more.
Telephone: 0300 123 3393
Find your local service https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/local-minds/
Crisis support for anyone in emotional distress or thinking about suicide. Support by telephone, face-to-face at many branches, e-mail or letter.
Telephone: 116 123
CALM (campaign against living miserably)
Support for men aged 15 – 35 years who are having thoughts around suicide,
Telephone: 0800 585858 (national) & 0808 802 58 58 (London)
A national out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers.
Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4.30 – 10.30pm every day)
A national mental health charity offering practical help on issues such as the Mental Health Act, community care and welfare benefits, living with mental illness, medication and care.
Telephone: 0300 500 0927 (Mon – Fri 9.30 -4.30pm)
They offer free and confidential support following a crime being committed to help you move forward. The service is for anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened.
Telephone: 0808 168 9111
National Stalking Helpline
Advice, support and information for anyone who is being harassed or intimidated by the behaviour of another person.
Telephone: 0808 802 0300
Bringing about positive change that enables children, young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism or both who have experienced abuse, violence or trauma to live richer, more resilient lives.
Telephone: 0207 383 0700
Supporting men and women who are victims of honour based violence and forced marriage.
Helpline: 0800 5999247
Forced Marriage Unit
The Forced Marriage Unit operates both inside the UK and overseas (where consular assistance is provided to British nationals, including dual nationals) to offer advice and support to anyone who is a victim of a forced marriage.
Telephone: 020 7008 0151
Search for a local counsellor / therapist
BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)
An umbrella organisation for counsellors / therapists in the UK with an online search to find your local therapist.
Telephone: 01455 883300
Asian Family Counselling Service
AFCS is a registered national charity providing low-cost, confidential and culturally sensitive mental health and relationship counselling services in five languages to South Asian communities in Britain since 1983.
Telephone: 0208 574 0912 (London) or 0121 454 1130 (Birmingham)
UK’s largest provider of relationship support to strengthen relationships with individual and couples counselling, mediation and sex therapy.
Telephone: 0300 100 1234
Find your nearest service: https://www.relate.org.uk/find-your-nearest-relate
Information, support and counselling for men who have been raped or sexually abused as adults or children.
Helpline: 0203 598 3898 (Mon-Sun 12pm to 8pm) or SMS 0203 322 1860 or Whatsapp 07491 816 064
NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood)
Registered charity, based in the UK, providing support and information for people abused in childhood.
Helpline: 0808 801 0331
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner regulates immigration advisers and makes sure they meet certain standards. You can search for an adviser and see a list of banned advisers.
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)
Offering advice and support with all areas of asylum and immigration law .
Helpline: 020 7553 7470 (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am – 1pm)
A national organisation providing support services to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants across the UK.
Find your local service:
Working with asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery, refugees and other areas of immigration.
Free asylum helpline: 0808 8010 503