Domestic Abuse and Violence

shutterstock 597899771Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people who are, or who have been, in a relationship. The abusive behaviour can continue even after a relationship has ended. It can also happen between family members.

Domestic abuse isn’t just physical violence – it includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse. Some examples are:

  • Sexual abuse and rape (including within a relationship)

  • Punching, kicking, cutting, hitting with an object

  • Withholding money or preventing someone from earning money

  • Controlling someone’s life, including telling them what to wear and where they go

  • Not letting someone leave the house.

  • Reading emails or text messages.

  • Threats to kill or harm them, a partner or another family member.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse. It happens in all communities to people from all backgrounds and both men and women can be abused or be the abuser.

For a child, witnessing domestic abuse can be really distressing and scary and causes serious harm. It is child abuse and children living in a home where domestic abuse is happening are at risk of other types of abuse too. Children are affected in different ways but common signs include anxiety, withdrawal, depression and aggressive behaviour.

Teenagers can also suffer domestic abuse in their relationships, although they may not realise that it is abuse. Even if they do understand they may be too scared or ashamed to tell anyone about it.

The NSPCC has some useful information on the Signs, Indicators and Effects of Domestic Abuse.


How to get help

If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger call the Police on 999.

If children are at risk call Customer First 0808 800 4005 or the Police on 999.


For further information and help please contact one of the organisations listed below

New Dawn Suffolk - Help for men, women and young people.

NSPCC - Freephone 0808 800 5000 - 24hr helpline.

Leeway - Help for men, women and young people. Freephone 0300 561 0077 - 24hr helpline.

Kiran Support Services - supporting women from the Indian sub-continent experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

Southall Black Sisters - A not for profit organization set up in 1979 to meet the needs of black (Asian and African Caribbean) and minority ethnic women.

Aanchal Women's Aid


Women's Aid - Help for women and children.

Refuge - Help for men, women and children.

Freephone 0808 2000 247 - 24hr National Domestic Violence helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.


Men's Advice Line Freephone 0808 801 0327. Confidential helpline and information for men.

Mankind Initiative  01823 334244. Confidential helpline and information for men.


Respect - working with perpetrators of abuse (male and female), male victims and young people.

Return to top