Breaking the taboo: Dealing with domestic violence

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, whatever your sex, age and or social circumstance. It is often physical, but can also be take the form of verbal, sexual or psychological abuse. It is a subject that has long been taboo, but with the right support it is possible to leave a violent relationship. There is help out there. An invaluable source of advice for anyone experiencing domestic abuse. Here you will find detailed help and advice on both the practical and emotional aspects of being a victim of domestic abuse

First response

The police are trained to respond sensitively to domestic abuse and reporting incidents will enable them to monitor the situation if you do not feel able to leave straight away. They take domestic violence extremely and if you feel you are in immediate danger you should not hesitate to call 999. For less critical situations you can call 101 and a trained officer will call you back.

Seek refuge

If you need to leave your home, firstly consider whether it might be possible to stay with sympathetic friends or family. If this is not practical for whatever reason and you are a female, then you have the option of seeking a place at a women’s refuge, you will be able to take your children with you. Refuges are staffed with caring women who are experienced in dealing with the victims of domestic violence and can provide a sanctuary while you consider your options. You will be able to get both emotional and practical support. The national domestic violence helpline is staffed with sympathetic women who will do all they can to ensure the safety of you and your children. Additionally, your local authority is under a legal obligation to look after you if you are forced to leave your home because of domestic violence. They may be able to provide emergency housing for you.

Moving on

It goes without saying that your first priority should be to ensure the safety of yourself and your children. Once you are in a place of safety, you can start considering your next steps. There are many Domestic violence services out there that have the experience to provide you will succinct and clear advice on every aspect of your situation. For example, you may be considering seeking a separation or divorce, a restraining order or custody of your children. Financially there are several key aspects to consider from a legal perspective. You may need advice with what benefits you are entitled to and getting maintenance from your ex-partner. If you have left the family home you will need to seek advice of how to protect your share, or how to return home safely.

Domestic violence is nothing to be ashamed of. Always remember that you are a victim and it is not your fault. Utilize all the resources you can to research your options and be clear that there is a way out. You do not need to suffer in silence.

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