Getting help for domestic violence

Find out where to get help if you're experiencing domestic violence.

Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse, includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.

It's abuse if your partner or a family member:

  • threatens you
  • shoves or pushes you
  • makes you fear for your physical safety
  • puts you down, or attempts to undermine your self-esteem
  • controls you, for example by stopping you seeing your friends and family
  • is jealous and possessive, such as being suspicious of your friendships and conversations
  • frightens you

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Where can you get help?

You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help. You can:

The Survivor's Handbook from the charity Women's Aid is free and provides information for women on a wide range of issues such as housing, money, helping your children, and your legal rights.

For forced marriage and "honour" crimes, contact Karma Nirvana (0800 5999 247) or The Forced Marriage Unit (020 7008 0151).

Broken Rainbow UK provides support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.

Anyone who needs confidential help with their own abusive behaviour can contact Respect on their free helpline on 0808 802 4040.

If you decide to leave

The first step in escaping an abusive situation is realising that you're not alone and it's not your fault. Before you go, try to get advice from an organisation such:

If you're considering leaving, be careful who you tell. It's important that your partner doesn't know where you're going.

Sexual assault

Women and men who have been sexually assaulted can get confidential help, treatment and support at a sexual assault referral centre. Find your nearest sexual assault referral centre.

More information


Video: domestic violence

Two women describe their experiences of domestic abuse, and how they found the strength and support to leave their situation.

Media last reviewed:

Next review due:

Page last reviewed: 14/07/2014

Next review due: 14/07/2017


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