Types of domestic abuse
Domestic abuse can affect everyone differently. It is any physical, psychological, emotional or economic abuse by someone close to you. Here's a list of the different types of domestic abuse:
- A pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use of threats. It could include isolating you from friends and family, monitoring your time and depriving you of access to support services.
- Creating fear through displays of uncontrollable anger, threats, using physical size to intimidate, shouting, breaking things, punching, staring, doors/walls.
- Punching, slapping, biting, kicking, pulling hair, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling.
Psychological and/or emotional abuse
Eroding your self-confidence by shouting, mocking, humiliating, accusing, name-calling, verbally threatening, and gaslighting (Making you question your own sanity.)
Saying the abuse doesn’t happen, you caused the abusive behaviour, Jekyll & Hyde personality, emotional blackmail, threatening to harm themselves or others if you ever leave them, begging forgiveness, appearing remorseful to manipulate.
Saying the abuse doesn’t happen; saying you caused the abusive behaviour; being publicly gentle and patient; crying and begging for forgiveness; saying it will never happen again.
Financial or economic abuse
- Financial abuse involves a perpetrator withholding or misusing money which limits and controls their partner’s current and future actions and their freedom of choice. It can include using bank, credit cards without permission, putting loans in their partner’s name, and gambling with family assets
Threats Regarding ‘Honour’
- Community and cultural pressures on family members, partners, and ex-partners to justify a range of abusive, controlling, and violent behaviour in the name of ‘honour’.
- Preventing communication and social interactions with others. Dictating your movements or accompanying you wherever you go.
Sexual abuse and violence
- Using force, threats, emotional pressure or intimidation to make you watch, engage in any degrading non-consensual sexual acts or intercourse.
Clare's Law is also known as The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. It means the police can disclose information to people about violent and and abusive offending by a current or ex-partner. This is if it's considered that the information may help protect them from further violent offending.
The Right to Ask means anyone can proactively seek information. It can be the person themself, or a concerned friend or family member.
The Right to Know is triggered by the police. Indirect information or intelligence from police or partner agencies can indicate someone is at risk of harm from their partner.
A domestic abuse Protection Notice (DVPN) can be issued by police to provide immediate protection for the victim, immediately after a domestic abuse incident. A DVPN lasts for 48 hours.
The Police can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) which lasts up to 28 days. Police apply to the court within 48 hours of issuing a DVPN.
Ask them to check in with you. Decide on a safe word or phrase you can use (spoken or text) to let them know you are not ok. Agree what they would do if you use the safe word (such as call the police).
Plan an escape route or if you are unable to leave block yourself in the safest room and call 999.
Make sure they also know how to give their name and address to the emergency services. Ask neighbours to call 999 if they hear a disturbance.
If you're in danger, call 999 and try to speak to the operator if you can, even by whispering. You may also be asked to cough or tap the keys on your phone to answer questions. Calling 999 from a landline: If you don't speak or answer questions and the operator can only hear background noise, they'll transfer your call to the police. If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick it up again. Calling 999 from a landline automatically gives the police information about your location.
If you're in danger, call 999 and try to speak to the operator if you can, even by whispering. You may also be asked to cough or tap the keys on your phone to answer questions. Calling 999 from a mobile: If you don't speak or answer questions, press 55 when prompted and your call will be transferred to the police. Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and doesn't allow the police to track your location. If you don't press 55 your call will be ended.
Keep copies of important documents like your passports and birth certificates. It’s a good idea to put together a safety plan, so you are prepared for an emergency situation. It's useful to have an escape bag with essential items like a phone, medication, money, keys and a change of clothes for you and your children.
Put important numbers on speed dial.
Include the date and time of when it occurred and how it made you feel. (Only do this if you have a secure place to store it.)
Get support and advice from a specialist organisation on how to leave in the safest way possible. The first step in escaping an abusive situation is realising that you're not alone and it's not your fault.
Staying safe online
Delete your browsing history
Internet browsers keep a record of all the web pages you visit. This is known as a ‘history’. To delete history for Internet Explorer and Firefox hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard, then press the H key (Ctrl, Alt and H for Opera). Find any entries that say www.changegrowlive.org.uk, right-click and choose celete.
All leading web browsers have a “private browsing” mode that, once enabled, won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache, or anything else) and so it’s always a useful first step to take.
Quick close button
The QUICK CLOSE button at the top of the website will quickly hide the page but you will still need to delete your history to fully cover your tracks.
Toolbars such as Google, AOL, and Yahoo keep a record of the search words you have typed into the toolbar search box. In order to erase all the search words you have typed in, you will need to check the individual instructions for each type of toolbar. For example, for the Google toolbar, all you need to do is click on the Google icon, and choose “Clear Search History”.
If you don’t use a password to log onto your computer, someone else will be able to access your email and track what you are looking at online. Use a secure password to prevent this.
All of the above information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet is at a library, a friend’s house, or at work.
Child to parent abuse
PAC UK - Child to Parent Violence (CPV) support.
Who's in Charge - For parents of children 8-18 who are verbally or physically abusive.
Respect - Leading the development of safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people using violence and abuse
Other Domestic Abuse services
Daisy Chain - Legal advice for domestic abuse victims.
Rail to Refuge - The rail to refuge scheme offers free train travel to women fleeing domestic abuse.
Sexual Assault Referral Centre - Anyone who has been sexually assaulted can get confidential help, treatment and support at a sexual assault referral centre.
The Trussell Trust - help to find a foodbank.
Helpful phone numbers
Victim Support 24hr Helpline: 08 08 16 89 111
National 24hr Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999
Respect - help for domestic violence perpetrators: 0808 802 4040
24-hour Aanchal helpline – if English isn’t your first language. Support for women affected by domestic abuse, whatever your background, language, or cultural experience. Helpline staff available to help you in a number of languages. These include English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil, Bengali: 07970990352
Support for black and minoritised communities
- HERSANA is a Black feminist Non-Profit organisation providing Black survivors of all forms of gendered violence with support, access to justice and counselling.
- Karma Nirvana are working to end Honour Based Abuse in the UK.
- The UK goverment have a forced marriage unit.
- The IMECE Women’s Centre is aiming to improve the lives of Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot women.
- Ikwro offers specialist support for Middle Eastern, North African (MENA) and Afghan women and girls living in the UK, who are at risk of “honour” based abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child marriage, domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls.
You can get housing advice from your local council. Here are their websites.