If you think you may be in an abusive relationship there are number of things you can do to access support and take back control of your life:
Often abusive people will try to make you doubt that you really are experiencing abuse. They may blame you for their abusive behaviour, minimise their actions or even deny them all together. This is called gas lighting and is a common behaviour of abusive people. If you feel that you may be experiencing domestic abuse you can look at our Warning signs page to get a better understanding of what is happening. If you want to speak with somebody you can call our confidential Referral and Advice line on 020 8317 8273 for advice and support.
Even though domestic abuse is not widely talked about we know that in the UK 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Often survivors are made to feel ashamed or scared to talk about their experiences. Nobody should have to face domestic abuse on their own and there are lots of services and groups available to support you on you. Please refer to our Directory or call the helpline to find services near you.
It can be really scary to take the first step and reach out for help. However there are many domestic abuse services across the country which specialise in providing non directive and non judgemental advice, emotional support and practical solutions. The majority of services including our own are confidential and you can initially contact them without providing any of your personal details if you do not want to.
Safety planning is about taking steps to keep yourself and your children as safe as possible. Some good examples of safety planning are: Making a plan with your children so they know to go to a safe place if anything happens, trying to avoid running up stairs, or into the kitchen or bathroom during an incident, keeping curtains open and staying in sight where possible. If you are in immediate danger call 999. You can call our confidential helpline to discuss other safety planning options with us.
If you are frightened of your current or former partner, then you have a right to be protected under the law. These are some of the legal options you have: