Domestic Abuse

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and require urgent advice, please contact the National Women’s Aid free helpline on 0808 2000 247 (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week) or the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.

If it is an emergency, please call 999.

If you are unable to speak on the phone ' The silent solution' helps people who are unable to speak, but who genuinely need police assistance.
After calling 999, dial 55 to be put through to your local police station. The call handler will ask you some simple yes or no questions. If you are not able to speak, listen carefully to the questions and instructions from the call handler so they can assess your call and arrange help if needed.

For more support services, please see the bottom of this page.

A Centre 56 leaflet

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident (or multiple incidents) of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour including sexual violence.

Most cases involve a partner or ex-partner, but it can also be by a family member or carer.

Domestic abuse can include:

  • Coercive control: a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of violence
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online abuse.
Holding hands

Recognising domestic abuse

Every situation is different, but there are common factors that, once acknowledged, is a step towards preventing and stopping abuse.

  • Destructive criticism
  • Pressure tactics
  • Being disrespectful to you
  • Breaking your trust
  • Making you feel isolated
  • Harassing you
  • Threatening you
  • Sexual violence
  • Physical violence
  • Denial.

Visit the Women’s Aid website for more information about recognising domestic abuse.

Guidance for domestic abuse support during lockdown:

The Government have advised that household isolation instructions as a result of coronavirus do not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse. Find out more about their guidance by visiting

To access domestic abuse support over the phone or if you need to talk to someone, the following services are available:

  • ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 (freephone, open 24 hours) –
  • The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327 (free from landlines and mobiles within the UK) –
  • The Mix, free information and support for under 25s – 0808 808 4994 (freephone, 4pm-11pm) –
  • National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428 – Ran by Galop
  • Samaritans – 116 123 (freephone, 24/7 service) –

If it is an emergency, please call 999.