Domestic abuse support

Domestic abuse is when one person, within an intimate or family relationship, uses threatening behaviour, abuse or violence to control another against their wishes.

Types of abuse

  • emotional – being called names, being made to feel bad about yourself, being stopped from going out, being told what you can or can’t wear
  • financial – being kept short of money or not being allowed to make decisions about money
  • physical – being hit, punched, kicked, slapped or pushed
  • psychological – being told you are a bad parent, or that children will be taken away from you or being deliberately isolated from friends and family
  • sexual – being forced to have sex when you do not want to

Get support

Ask for advice:

If you are in immediate danger call the police on 999

If you need to talk to someone for confidential advice about domestic abuse call the DAFFs helpline 0800 6949 999 (9am to 5pm) to talk to Gemini Services who offer local support and advice for women and men affected by domestic abuse.

Outside these hours call the 24-hour national helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge 0808 2000 247.

Talk to someone who has been there too:

Think about coming along to one of the Gemini Service’ drop-ins. These are friendly, informal meetings for women who have been affected by domestic abuse so that they can offer each other support.

“Before this I didn’t want to mix or be here or make friends, but now I have opened up and blossomed”

Visit the Women’s Aid online Survivors’ Forum to contact women across the UK who have been affected by domestic abuse.

If you are a man affected by domestic abuse you can contact the Mankind Initiative on 01823 334244 to find out about the drop-ins they run for men.

Look at the North Somerset Survivors’ Handbook which was written by a local group of survivors who wanted to pass on tips and key messages to anyone affected by domestic abuse (women and men).

For practical advice:

Look at Women’s Aid’s online Survivors’ Handbook which gives lots of information and tips for anyone affected by domestic abuse. This is aimed at women but much of the advice is relevant for men affected by domestic abuse too. The Men’s Advice Line Booklet offers information which is focussed upon men.

Other support:

Moving on from an abusive relationship can be difficult and it is a good idea to find some support. For information about other support services in North Somerset visit the Council’s North Somerset Online Directory.

Give support

Many people who have escaped domestic abuse often say that the best help they received came from a friend or family member. We have teamed up with partner agencies to produce a booklet to help people in just this situation:  ‘Domestic Abuse Friends and family guide’ was written by Doctor Alison Gregory of the University of Bristol and is packed full of tips and advice for anyone worried that someone they know is living with abuse and needs help.