Domestic Violence / Abuse From An Intimate Partner

If you have experienced domestic violence, remember:

You are not alone. The Hidden Marks survey revealed that in 38% of less serious physical violence incidents and 35% of serious physical violence incidents against women students were perpetrated by someone intimately known to the victim.

It is not your fault. The responsibility lies with the abuser. They do not have to use violence and can choose, instead, to behave non-violently.

There is support available. This website contains information about national support services available to you and your students’ union will also be able to help you and point you towards local support services and refuges.

‘All of the first four [pushed, slapped, shoved or had hair pulled; something thrown at you; kicked, bitten, hit with a fist; choked, dragged, strangled or burnt] have happened to me whilst living with my ex-boyfriend during my 1st and 2nd year of uni, but I considered being choked the most dangerous. He also threatened me.’

– Hidden Marks survey respondent

Please click on a question to find the answers.

What is domestic violence/ abuse from an intimate partner?
I would like more information about domestic violence.
I would like to speak to someone about domestic violence.
I need medical advice/treatment.
I need emergency accommodation.
I am thinking of going into refuge.
I would like to find a domestic violence support service in my area to help me now.
Can my students’ union help me?
I am thinking of trying counselling.
Where can I find a domestic violence support group?
I would like to receive support in my own home/halls.
I would like to contact the Police for advice about domestic violence.
How can I access free legal advice?
I would like to receive personal safety guidance.
I would like to contact a culturally specific domestic violence service.
I am lesbian, gay and/or transgender and am experiencing domestic violence.
Where can I read about other women’s experiences of recovering from domestic violence?
I am thinking about reporting domestic violence.


What is domestic violence/ abuse from an intimate partner?

The Government defines domestic violence as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.” Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’. Research shows that domestic violence is most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men. Any woman can experience domestic violence regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, class, disability or lifestyle. Domestic violence can also take place in lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender relationships, and can involve other family members, including children (Women’s Aid).


Where can I find more information about domestic violence?

Women’s Aid Survivor’s Handbook

The Survivor’s Handbook provides practical help, support and information for women experiencing abuse. The Survivor’s Handbook provides simple and accessible guidance on every aspect of seeking support. The Survivor’s Handbook includes information on: Safety planning for women experiencing domestic violence; A guide to legal protection; The effects of domestic violence on children; Details of housing options along with a range of refuge and other domestic violence services; How domestic violence can affect health, including mental health issues and alcohol and drug use.

Click here to download the Survivor’s Handbook:

Refuge is a national domestic violence charity that offers a range of services which gives women and children access to professional support whatever their situation. Refuge believes that every woman and child experiencing domestic violence has different needs – there is no single package of services to meet those needs, no ‘one size fits all’. The Refuge website provides useful information on all of Refuge’s services as well as topics such as domestic violence warning signs and domestic violence policy and research. Click here to visit Refuge

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid is the national domestic violence charity that helps up to 250,000 women and children every year. Women’s Aid work to end violence against women and children, and support over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the country. The Women’s Aid website includes a wealth of useful information about domestic violence and support services including:

– Click here for an A-Z list of topics relating to domestic violence.

- Click here to go to the Domestic violence service directory for locating services in your area.

To find out about your legal rights and reporting your experience to your institution or the police, visit the rights and reporting section of this website.

I would like to speak to someone about domestic violence.

National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247 – The Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, is open 24 hours a day, every single day.  The helpline workers are there to give emotional support and practical information.  They help women explore their options and escape abuse.

Scottish Women’s Aid - 0131 226 6606

Welsh Women’s Aid0808 80 10 800

Women’s Aid, Republic of Ireland – +353 1 868 4721, 24-hour Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900

Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland – (028) 90 249041

Rights of Women

For free, confidential, legal advice on domestic violence contact Rights of Women women lawyers on 020 7251 6577 (020 7490 2562 textphone). Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday 2–4pm and 7–9pm. Also open Friday, 12–2pm.

To find out about your legal rights and reporting your experience to your institution or the police, visit the rights and reporting section of this website.

I need medical advice/treatment.

Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for health advice and reassurance, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call 999 in the case of a medical emergency.

What is a medical emergency?

I need emergency accommodation / I am thinking of going into refuge.

The Women’s Aid Survivor’s Handbook has comprehensive information on what is a refuge and how you can stay in one. Read online by clicking here.

I would like to find a domestic violence support service in my area to help me now.

You can search for domestic violence services in your area using the Women’s Aid domestic violence service directory by clicking here.

Can my students’ union help me?

Yes. Your students’ union is designed to be your first port-of-call for resolving any problems you experience as a student and will be able to help you find the support you need. If your institution has a Student Advice Service, they will be able to direct you to the most relevant person or service. Alternatively contact the Welfare Officer, Women’s Officer or President of your Students’ Union.

Find out more by going to our About Students’ Unions section.

I would like to receive support in my own home/halls.

Both Refuge and Women’s Aid have outreach workers that meet with women at safe times in their own homes or at a discreet place in the community. They help women to draw up safety plans, progress housing applications and also provide emotional support. For more information see:

To here to read about Refuges outreach workers.

To here read about Women’s Aid outreach workers.

I am thinking of trying counselling.

Refuge psychologists help women and children overcome the traumatic effects of abuse.  They run counselling sessions with mothers and children, helping them to work through feelings of fear, guilt and confusion. For more information call Refuge on: 0808 2000 247

Where can I find a domestic violence support group?

Women’s Aid runs support groups that enable women to share experiences and support each other. Search the Women’s Aid domestic violence service directory to find a support group near you by clicking here.

I would like to contact the Police for advice about domestic violence.

Police domestic violence units
There are a number of police domestic violence units across the country which have staff specially trained to help people experiencing domestic violence. They work closely with other organisations such as local solicitors and Women’s Aid groups. Your local police station, in the phone book under Police, will be able to tell you if they have a domestic violence unit, or where the nearest one is. If you require an immediate police response you should contact them via 999.

How can I access free legal advice?

Refuge’s Independent Domestic Violence Advocates provide expert guidance for women going through civil and criminal courts.  They help women to obtain non-molestation injunctions and occupation orders, and they help increase conviction rates. Click here to read more about Domestic Violence Advocates

You can also phone the National Domestic Violence Helpline for more details: 0808 2000 247

For more advice on accessing free legal advice, see the rights and reporting section.

I would like to receive personal safety guidance.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Suzy Lamplugh Trust is the only UK charity entirely devoted to providing everyone in society with practical support and personal safety guidance they need to reduce their fear of crime and develop skills and strategies for avoiding crime and violence. They run a variety of services including community projects and training seminars. For details see their website. The website also contains useful information about personal safety tips including topics such as safe dating and personal safety when drinking. Call the Suzy Lamplugh Trust on 02070910014

I would like to contact a culturally specific domestic violence service.

Imkaan

Imkaan runs policy, research service and advocacy for Asian women in the refuge sector. Call 0207 250 3933 / 0207 434 9945 or email: sumanta@imkaan.fsnet.co.uk

Southall Black Sisters

Southall Black Sisters (SBS) manage a resource centre in West London that provides a comprehensive service to black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women experiencing violence and abuse. They offer specialist advice, information, casework, advocacy, counselling and self-help support services in several community languages. Call the SBS helpline on 0208 571 0800 (Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm. Closed Wed 12.30pm – 1.30pm). For general enquiries call 0208 571 9595(Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm. Closed for lunch 12.30pm – 1.30pm).

Refuge’s culturally specific refuges aim to meet the needs of women from different ethnic communities and cultures. For more information click here.

I am lesbian, gay and/or transgender and am experiencing domestic violence.

Broken Rainbow provide support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people experiencing domestic violence. Phone the Broken Rainbow helpline on 0300 999 5428 or 08452 60 33 60 (Monday 2-8pm, Wednesday 10am-1pm, Thursday 2-8pm).

In an emergency, call 999.

Where can I read about other women’s experiences of recovering from domestic violence?

Click here to read about other women’s experiences.

I am thinking about reporting domestic violence.

If you are considering reporting domestic violence/ abuse from an intimate partner to your institution or the police, see the rights and reporting section of this website.

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