Domestic Abuse: How to get help
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, or believes they know someone who is, it is important to remember that there is help and support available.
At CKH we do not tolerate domestic abuse, and as part of your tenancy agreement you must not threaten violence or be violent towards anyone living with you in the property, harass or use psychological, emotional, physical or sexual abuse to make anyone who lives with you leave the property. We are here to support victims and we will take action against perpetrators.
Support for victims
If you are a victim of domestic abuse we can support you. Our specialist team can provide you with emotional support, practical help and advice with tenancy and other issues. We can also signpost you to other agencies who can help, and we can help you to get out of a dangerous situation.
To get help call us on 01733 385000. If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
What is abuse?
An abusive relationship is where one partner tries to dominate the other through physical harm, criticisms, demands, threats, or sexual pressure. For the victim, this behaviour can be very dangerous, frightening, confusing and damaging.
Psychological or emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse. Abuse in a relationship is never acceptable, regardless of the circumstances, and is never the fault of the victim. Abuse is not caused by alcohol, or stress, or by the victim’s behaviour. Abuse happens because the abuser wants to control and manipulate the other person. Physical and sexual assault, threats and stalking are crimes and can be reported to the police.
Domestic abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
- Psychological - Making you feel devalued and afraid. If you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) threatening to ‘out’ you to your family
- Physical - Kicking, punching and restraining
- Sexual – Rape, making you do things you don’t want to do, preventing you from practicing safe sex
- Economic – Taking your money and/or controlling your money
Is your partner, or another family member, abusive?
- Is your partner jealous and possessive?
- Are they charming one minute and abusive the next?
- Do they tell you what to wear, where to go, who to see?
- Do they constantly put you down?
- Do they play mind games and make you doubt your judgment?
- Do they control your money?
- Do they pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?
- Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making them angry?
- Do they monitor or track your movements or messages?
- Do they use anger and intimidation to frighten and control you?
How do you spot a signs of domestic abuse in a friend or family member?
Here are some signs you may pick up on that could point towards someone being abused:
- Low self-esteem – issues with confidence
- Anxiety towards the end of the day – and perhaps a change in ability to manage workload
- Avoidance of social calls/not attending social calls without notice and without explanation
- Bruises and wearing inappropriate clothing to cover bruises
- Unexplained aches and pains
How to support someone who might be experiencing domestic violence
It can be really worrying when someone you care about is being hurt or abused by their partner. The most important thing is to talk to them and listen to what they have to say without passing judgement or opinion. Be aware of where they can go for help, and don’t get frustrated if they choose not to accept help. Anxiety and fear are overwhelming and there are huge obstacles people will face when leaving an abusive relationship.
Start to learn about different support agencies and signpost them to the agencies for advice and support. Encourage them to keep a log of incidents, along with evidence of their abuse, so that when they are ready to accept help they will be in a better position to move forward in a positive way.
Services that can help:
Peterborough Women’s Aid 01733 894964 www.peterboroughwomensaid.co.uk
Cambridge Women’s Aid (City/East/South Cambs) 01223 361214
Refuge (Fenland/Hunts/Peterborough) 07787 255821
National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
Men’s Advice Line 0808 8010 327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk
LGBT Helpline 0800 999 5428 www.galop.org.uk
Women’s Aid Online Chat chat.womensaid.org.uk
Honour-Based Abuse 0800 5999 247 karmanirvana.org.uk
Respect phone line (for perpetrators of abuse) 0808 802 4040 respect.uk.net
Call your doctor to seek a referral for counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy
If you are in immediate danger call 999
Making silent calls to police
If you are in immediate danger and able to dial 999 but unable to speak, pressing 55 or tapping the handset will alert the call operator that you are a genuine caller and that you need help.
Try to listen to the instructions given by the call operator about what to do next and call from a landline if you can.
If you are struggling with feelings of anger or jealousy toward a partner, child or family member, and feel you may resort to mental or physical abuse, or you already have lashed out, there is support available to you, to help you change your mindset. Get in touch with the Respect Phoneline on 0808 8024040 (Mon–Fri, 9am-8pm) or visit their website: respectphoneline.org.uk. You can talk to them in confidence about your violence and domestic abuse. A friendly Helpline Advisor will listen to you without judgement and give you honest advice.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership have support programmes for perpetrators of domestic abuse, and their Building Better Relationships Programme is a 30-session group work programme delivered by The Probation Service to help men convicted of domestic abuse understand the attitudes that underpin their abusive behaviour and stop being violent in their relationships. In addition, Women’s Safety Officers and Partner Link Officers give support to women whose partner or ex-partner is on the Building Better Relationships Programme or Safer Relationships Group. Find out more on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership website.
If you are subject to a court order, the Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DAPP) run by Cafcass could be of benefit to you. It aims to help people who have been abusive towards their partners or ex-partners to change their behaviour and develop respectful, non-abusive relationships. Taking part in DAPP can make a real difference to the lives of those involved, including children who have been affected. Find out more on the Cafcass website.