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Domestic abuse

A sad young woman

How to get help and advice

  • In an emergency always dial 999
  • Call West Mercia Women's Aid Helpline 24 hours a day on 0800 783 1359. Calls are free from a landline.
  • Call Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm)
  • You can find help and advice on the West Mercia Women's Aid website and the Men's Advice Line website and more information below

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Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence.  In the majority of cases, it's committed by a partner or ex-partner, but can also be committed by family members or carers and can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

Abuse comes in many different forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and financial and it's important to recognise some of the potential signs...

Physical abuse

  • Being pushed, kicked, bitten, slapped, hit or punched
  • Being burnt, choked or held down
  • Things being thrown by the other person

Emotional abuse

  • Being belittled or put down
  • You're blamed for the abuse or arguments, whilst the other person denies it's happening or plays it down
  • They isolate you from your family and friends or stop you going to work or college
  • They tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go and what to think

Sexual abuse

  • Being touched in a way you don’t want to be 
  • Hurting you during sex or pressuring you into unsafe sex
  • Making unwanted sexual demands or forcing you to have sex when you don’t want to, which is rape

Financial abuse

  • Controlling your money or not giving you enough to buy food and other essential items
  • Not allowing you to work, so you have no independent income
  • Obtaining credit cards in your name, without your permission 

Please note...This is not an exhaustive list of signs, there may be others to look out for too.

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If you are suffering from domestic abuse remember:

  • Domestic abuse can affect anyone
  • You are not to blame
  • You are not alone
  • There are specialist services that can help you

Local support

West Mercia Women's Aid is based in Hereford and works with women and children affected by domestic abuse.  They offer a range of different services, including a free 24 hour helpline, refuge and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors.

     ➡ 0800 783 1359 •

West Mercia Women's Aid also offer one to one support and a free 24 hour helpline for men who are currently experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.

     ➡ 0800 014 9082

National support 

Childline provide information on domestic abuse for children and young people, along with advice on how to get support and make a safety plan.

     ➡ 0800 11 11

Forced Marriage Unit is a UK government team which can help if you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or if you need help to leave a marriage you’ve been forced into.

     ➡ 0207 008 0151  •

Galop offer information and advice on domestic abuse, sexual violence and hate crimes for the LGBT+ community, along with providing a domestic abuse helpline and online chat service.

     ➡ 0800 999 5428  •

Karma Nirvana support victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage.

     ➡ 0800 599 9247  •

ManKind provide emotional support and practical information for men who are subjected to domestic abuse, along with a confidential helpline.

     ➡ 01823 334244   

Men's Advice Line
 offer information, advice and support for men experiencing domestic abuse.  They also provide a free helpline and online chat service. 

     ➡ 0808 801 0327  •

National Domestic Violence Helpline is a free 24 hour service providing support, help and information to women experiencing domestic abuse or their family, friends and colleagues who are calling on their behalf.

     ➡ 0808 200 0247  

NSPCC offer advice and information on domestic abuse for children, young people and parents.

     ➡ 0808 800 5000  • 

Refuge is a national charity that supports women and children affected by domestic abuse.

     ➡ 0808 200 0247  •

Relate offer a range of different services, including relationship and family counselling, mediation and sex therapy, either face to face or via phone, e-mail and online chat.

     ➡ 0300 003 0396  •

Respect is a domestic abuse organisation, leading the development of safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people who use violence in their close relationships. They offer an anonymous and confidential telephone helpline for men and women, who are harming their partners and families.

     ➡ 0808 802 4040  •

SignHealth provide a specialist domestic abuse service, which supports deaf people to find safety and security.

     ➡ 0203 947 2601  •

The Hideout helps children and young people understand domestic abuse and how they can take positive action if it's happening within their family.

Women’s Aid offer information and support to women and children subjected to domestic abuse.

     ➡ 0808 200 0247  •


Did you know...

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (often called ‘Clare’s Law’, after the landmark case that led to it), gives any member of the public the right to ask the police, if their partner or the partner of a close friend or family member, may pose a risk to them.  The scheme enables the police to disclose information to a victim or potential victim of domestic abuse about their partner's or ex-partner's previous abusive or violent offending.  For more information and to make a request for information visit the West Mercia Police website

Do you need to hide your tracks?

Everything you look at on the internet leaves a trail on your computer, so if you don't want your abuser seeing what you've been looking at, it's important to make sure you hide your tracks and erase your online history.

West Mercia Women's Aid has some easy to follow advice on how to successfully achieve this.

In an emergency...

Always dial 999

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