Some of the most emotional and traumatic crime can take place between the people closest to us.
Behind Closed Doors

When is it abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling behaviour that can lead to physical and sexual violence, and is not necessarily a problem with managing anger. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, background, sexuality. Both women and men are abused.

Some common traits of abuse can be:

  • Threatening or intimidating behaviour – domestic abuse isn’t always violent, but it can often escalate to physical abuse.
  • Belittlement constant criticism or putting the other partner or spouse down, especially in front of family and friends.
  • Controlling behaviour – excessively jealous or possessive behaviour, limiting the other person’s access to money, friends, vehicles or freedom in general.

Am I in an abusive relationship?

Women’s Aid can help you explore if you or someone you know is in a pattern of behaviour that indicates domestic violence and abuse.

I suspect someone is being abused

You may be able to help a friend, family member or colleague who is experiencing abuse if you:

  • Pay attention to changes in behaviour.
  • Start a conversation.
  • Listen, support and believe.
  • Suggest further help.

What else can I do to help?

Citizens Advice has lots of information if you think a friend or family member is experiencing abuse.

I know someone who is committing abuse

It can be really hard to speak out when someone you know is committing a crime. You can contact Crimestoppers anonymously to tell us about abuse - call free on 0800 555 111, or fill in our quick and easy anonymous online form. We don't want to know who you are, just what you know, and we'll pass your information onto the authorities so they can take the right course of action to help.

In some cases, situations can become life-threatening. If something is currently taking place and someone is in danger, you should call 999.

Other sources of help:

England:                   The National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000 247
:                  The National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline - 0800 027 1234
:                       Live Fear Free Helpline - 0808 8010 800
Northern Ireland
:     Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline - 0808 802 1414
For Men
:                   Men’s Advice Line - 0808 801 0327
:                National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Domestic Violence Helpline
                                 - 0800 999 5428