Domestic violence, abuse and rape

Domestic violence and abuse is used to describe controlling or threatening behaviour between couples or ex-couples, family members or from people in a position of trust. This is not just about physical violence and threat, but also emotional and sexual abuse and financial control. It affects men as well as women. It also includes forced marriage, ‘honour based’ violence and female genital mutilation.

New laws mean that ‘revenge porn’ is now a crime; the law protects you from a partner or ex-partner distributing or posting images or videos of you of a sexual nature without your consent.

If you are living with violence or abuse it can be difficult to know who to turn to or how to get out. Sometimes, people are too scared of the consequences to tell someone, so live in silence and fear. Sometimes people think they deserve this abuse or feel that it is their fault in some way. Violence from one person to another is never justified. If you are living with violence or abuse or the fear of it, you are not to blame. Support is also available from a number of places:

If you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 999.

The Time 2 Project works with young people (11–18) around healthy relationships and keeping safe. See here for more information.

The Council has a duty to offer advice, and sometimes emergency accommodation, to those fleeing domestic violence, whether male or female. For more information see here. If you are in immediate need of advice ring the 24 hr IDAS helpline.

Supporting Victims offer support to males and females who have been victims of domestic violence. They also work with other agencies that they can refer you to for help, support and advice.

Online sources of information – including links to further help, at idas.org.uk and disrespectnobody.co.uk. National helplines include Broken Rainbow UK – an LGBT Domestic Violence helpline and the Men’s Advice Line – offering advice and support to men in abusive relationships.

If you have been sexually abused recently or in the past, by a relative or someone else in a position of trust, there are people you can talk to in confidence. See here for organisations including Castlegate, who offer counselling services.

Survive supports female and male (18+) survivors of rape, sexual abuse, childhood abuse or any form of sexual violence. They run a helpline, offer information and one to one support, as well as self help groups, counselling, an outreach service and advocacy.

Rape and sexual assault

Being raped or sexually assaulted is an extremely distressing experience. If this has happened to you, remember that it is not your fault. You may well know your attacker, which can make dealing with it even harder. It can be very difficult to talk to someone about what has happened; however there are people you can contact for support.

See here for organisations who offer counselling services and above for information about Survive.

The Rape Support Line run by IDAS is a free and confidential telephone service for anyone (male or female) who has been raped or sexually assaulted either recently or in the past. They can offer advice, support or just a listening ear, or can signpost to other places who can offer further help.

You can also contact Supporting Victims for someone to talk to in confidence. They should also be able to support you in going to the police, and with court and medical procedures.