Support for people being abused
National organisations providing support & information for domestic abuse victims
- Home Office guidance on domestic abuse – Advice in various languages on how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse.
- Ask for ANI – ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is a codeword scheme developed by the Home Office to provide a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.
- Galop – An LGBT anti-violence and abuse charity, giving advice and support to people who have experienced biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, sexual violence or domestic abuse.
- The Hide Out – Provides help, information and support for children and young people affected by domestic violence. It includes advice sections and hotline contact numbers.
- Lifecentre – Supports survivors of rape and sexual abuse, irrespective of gender or age.
- Men’s Advice Line – A freephone helpline for male victims of domestic violence and abuse, whether in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, and frontline workers.
- National Centre for Domestic Violence – Provides a free, fast emergency injunction service to survivors of domestic violence regardless of their financial circumstances, race, gender or sexual orientation.
- Refuge – Offers a range of services to support women and children experiencing domestic violence, including a free, 24-hour helpline.
- Respect – An information and advice line for anyone concerned about their abusive and/or violent behaviour.
- Rights of Women – A voluntary organisation offering women information about their legal rights.
- Samaritans – 24-hour, confidential support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide.
- Women’s Aid – Works to end violence against women and children and supports over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the country.
Things you can do if you're in an abusive relationship
Steps you can take to help keep yourself safe if you are in an abusive relationship
- Keep important phone numbers to hand for you and your children
- Tell friends or neighbours about the abuse – ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises
- Practise ways to get out of your home quickly and safely
- Keep safe places in your home where there are exits and no weapons.
If you are thinking about leaving your abusive partner consider:
- Who you will phone during a crisis
- Agreeing a ‘code word’ you can use to indicate your fears to the police or other services
- Keeping your mobile phone fully charged and topped up at all times
- Identifying where you will make an emergency call if you don’t have your mobile
- Keeping the car filled up with petrol
- Keeping spare car and home keys within easy reach or by your escape route
- Rehearsing an escape route with children and teaching them how to phone the police
- Where you will tell children to run to for safety during an attack
- Identifying where and when you are most vulnerable to an attack
- Planning how you can increase your safety at these times.
Keep an escape bag
It should include:
- birth certificate
- benefits book
- driving licence
- NI number.
Also pack a change of clothes, snacks, spare money and a list of important phone numbers. Include items you feel you can’t live without, such as your children’s favourite toys, photos and keepsakes.
In an emergency always call the police on 999
Information for friends and family of people being abused
How you can support someone you know who is being abuse
It can be difficult to know what to do if you have a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship. If they are at serious risk of harm always phone 999 immediately.
You can also visit Hampshire Constabulary’s Domestic Abuse website
If you have spotted signs of domestic abuse, the next step is to reach out and support them. For many people, talking to someone can be the first step towards safety. Once things are out in the open your friend may be able to see their situation more clearly. Talking about their experiences can make them feel stronger and less overwhelmed.
If the person is experiencing domestic abuse they may be feeling very alone, so it’s important to listen and offer non-judgmental support.
Many people believe that domestic abuse is a private matter, to be dealt with behind closed doors. The reality is that domestic abuse is a crime that will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men at some point in their life.
Find support and advice
Intervening and getting between your friend and their partner can be dangerous, for both of you. Encourage them to contact the agencies detailed on these pages.
You can call these agencies listed above on behalf of your friend or relative to see what support they offer and advice they can give you to help.