Understanding domestic violence

Anyone can become a victim of violence and abuse within a family or a relationship. You are not to blame if it happens to you. It can be:

  • emotional
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial

What you can do if it happens to you

  1. Try talking to someone you trust. With their support you might find it easier to make important decisions
  2. Find your local support service by entering your postcode in the box at the bottom of this page. As well as offering emotional support, they'll be able to help with practicalities like housing and benefits, if you decide to move away
  3. Report it to the police. Domestic violence is a crime. The police take it seriously and will be able to help and protect you. If it's an emergency call 999, or you can call them on 101 or go to your local police station

What to do if you think someone's being hurt

Try talking to them about their situation. And support them if they decide to do something about it.

You can talk to the police by calling 101 or going in to your local police station.

After reporting domestic violence

As the victim of a serious crime, you'll be entitled to extra help from the police, courts and victim services. That will include:

  • arranging for a specialist support service to contact you
  • letting you know within 1 working day what's happening with the suspect, eg if they're being released on bail
  • being given information about Special Measures that could help you give evidence in court

You can see everything you're entitled to in the Victims' Code. This is a government document which sets out the information and support you should get from public services.