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Domestic abuse

We take domestic abuse seriously and believe all people have the right to live their lives free from violence and abuse. If you’re worried about your own relationship, frightened of someone close to you, or concerned about a friend or neighbour, there is help available.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can affect anyone and includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control - a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial or economic abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

The domestic abuse can be carried out by:

  • A partner or ex-partner (Scotland)
  • A partner, ex-partner or family member (England)

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Signs of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can take many forms. Here are some examples:

  • Slaps, punches, kicking, spitting, pushing or shoving
  • Telling you that you never do anything right
  • Jealous of your friends and family
  • Stopping you from spending time with friends and family
  • Threatening or harming you, your children or your pets
  • Intimidating you with weapons or household objects
  • Insulting, humiliating, or shaming you
  • Stopping you from having your own money
  • Making you have sex 
  • Making you use drugs or alcohol
  • Telling you what to wear and/or eat
  • Monitoring your phone and social media
  • Threatening to expose your sexual orientation
  • Threatening suicide

Anti-social behaviour, like shouting or children crying excessively, can be a sign that domestic abuse is taking place in a home.

Experiencing any of these is not acceptable.

In an emergency

If you are in immediate danger, or worried about someone's safety:

  • Call 999 and ask for the police.
  • If it’s not safe to speak, use the Silent Solution system: call 999 and then press 55 when prompted.

If you are out and about and in danger or fearful, the following code word schemes are also available in participating venues:

  • Ask for Angela: look for posters on toilet doors in bars and other venues that are members of this campaign.
  • Ask for ANI: The ANI hand symbol will be displayed in pharmacies that are taking part in this campaign

How we can help

We take reports of domestic abuse seriously and we are here to help

We understand how frightening abuse is and how difficult it is to talk about. If you contact us we won't judge you or tell you what to do. We will:

  • Respond in a calm, friendly, and reassuring way
  • Listen to your concerns and believe what you tell us
  • Respect your decisions; we will always act with total discretion and confidentiality in agreement with you
  • Let you know how we can help you
  • Discuss your safety, taking into account your children and other people in your household
  • Discuss your housing options and housing concerns
  • Refer or signpost you for expert support such as specialist domestic abuse services, legal advice and financial support

We will not share your information with anyone without your permission, unless there are serious concerns for your safety, or the safety of any children or vulnerable adults.

Staying safe

There are things you can do to keep safe or help you plan to leave:

Staying safe (Scotland's domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline) - Information on what to do in an emergency, web safety, staying safe if you're able to leave or stay, and what to do if you're at risk of a forced marriage.

I am planning to leaving my abuser (refuge) - Advice for women.

What you can do (Mankind) - Support for male victims.

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