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
Talk to someone:
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse call Next Link on 0800 4700 280 for local support. Their helpline and live chat facility (accessible at www.nextlinkhousing.co.uk) is staffed from 10am – 4pm on weekdays but their out of hours service is in operation outside of these times so you can speak to someone 24/7.
Get online support:
Visit the Women’s Aid website to make contact with women across the UK who have been affected by domestic abuse or to take part in a webchat.
Visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk to access support, including a regular webchat, if you are a man affected by domestic abuse.
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.
Male victims of domestic abuse can call the confidential Mankind helpline: 01823 334 244 (10am-4pm)
Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse is available from 0800 999 5428
Love Respect is aimed at 16-25-year-olds to show what is and isn’t a healthy relationship
Call the Samaritans’ 24-hour line on 116 123.
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.
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.