Domestic Abuse – Directory of resources & advice
Domestic abuse can be very damaging both physically and emotionally. It isn’t always easy to notice, even if you experience it first-hand. If you’ve been the victim of domestic abuse, you may feel too frightened to get help. But there are plenty of ways for you to get support and protection whilst staying safe from further abuse. You should make yourself familiar with the signs of physical and emotional domestic abuse and make sure you know where to go for help.
This website explains what domestic abuse is, where you can go for help, how to plan for your safety, and how to take legal action.
Help for people experiencing domestic abuse
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may feel afraid about looking for help because you’ve been threatened, or because you think no-one else will be listening to you. But you don’t have to face domestic violence on your own. There are many organisations that can offer support and can help to protect you.
The People First website has collated these into a useful resource.
National 24hr Helpline
The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
The Helpline can give support, help and information over the telephone, wherever the caller might be in the country. The Helpline is staffed 24 hours a day by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers. All calls are completely confidential. Translation facilities for callers whose first language is not English, and a service for callers who are deaf or hard of hearing are available.
Telephone: 0808 2000 247
H&F Council Services & Support Groups
The Angelou Partnership provides domestic abuse services for H&F. It brings together the specialisms of nine organisations to deliver a streamlined and holistic approach to tackling issues of violence that disproportionally affect women and girls. The council website has more information about these individual organisations, including ones that provide refuge or specialize in LGBT, minority ethnicity groups or those with families.
Support for minority ethnicity groups
Eastern European Community
Support for domestic violence victims from the Eastern European Community. Women-only service.
Tel: 0772 524 5777
Black and minority ethnicity
Southall Black Sisters offer a women-only service that supports people from minority ethnic groups suffering domestic violence.
Telephone helpline: 0208 571 0800 / 0208 571 9595
Al-Hasaniya Moroccan women’s centre
Al-Hasaniya serves the needs of Moroccan and Arabic-speaking women and their families in London.
Southall Black Sisters
Host a resource centre providing advice and information for women concerning domestic violence, sexual abuse, immigration and welfare matters. A counselling service is also available for clients.
Telephone: 020 8571 9595
Helpline and advice for perpetrators of domestic violence or abuse
A confidential helpline for people who are abusive and/or violent towards their partners. Offers information and advice to support perpetrators to stop their violence and change their abusive behaviours. The main focus is to increase the safety of those experiencing domestic violence.
Refuges for victims of domestic abuse
Hestia runs refuges across London which offer a place of safety for any mother and child made homeless by domestic abuse. They also offer emotional and practical support, including groups run by survivors for survivors.
Smartphone App for domestic abuse
Bright Sky is a free to download mobile app providing support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know. It is available in 4 languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish, and offers a unique UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services with contact details.
There is also a secure My Journal tool to record incidents of abuse via text, audio, video or photo form, without any of the content being saved on the device itself, plus questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse, and links to further resources and information on topics around domestic abuse.
Advice line for men experiencing domestic violence or abuse
A confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. Offers emotional support, practical advice and information on a wide range of services for further help and support.
Rape & sexual assault – Women & Girls Network
Women and Girls Network (WGN) is a free, women-only service that supports women in London who have experienced violence, or are at risk of violence. We offer counselling, advocacy and advice for women and girls who have experienced gendered violence, including sexual and domestic violence.
They aim to promote, preserve and restore the mental health and well-being of women and girls, to empower them to make a total and sustainable recovery from their experiences of violence.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) includes all procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non medical reasons. The procedure, (which some communities refer to as female circumcision or cutting) has no health benefits for women or children and can cause severe bleeding, infections and problems with giving birth later in life – including the death of the baby.
Female Genital Mutilation is child abuse and is illegal.
This website lists hospital based FGM clinics, and provides details of people to contact in regards to concerns about FGM.
Forced Marriage Service
You have the right to choose who you marry, when you marry or if you marry at all. Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (for example, threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (eg if you’re made to feel like you’re bringing shame on your family). Forced marriage is illegal in England and Wales
Contact the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) if you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or you need help leaving a marriage you’ve been forced into. A trained professional will give you free advice on what to do next. They can also help you find a safe place to stay and stop a UK visa if you’ve been forced to sponsor someone.