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Commonly Asked Domestic Abuse Questions
DomesticShelters.org has heard from many victims and survivors in the United Kingdom, and created toolkits covering the topics that people tell us they want to learn more about. Domestic abuse is a complex matter. We have developed nearly 1,000 articles on every aspect of domestic violence. If you don't find what you need below, enter your topic here and our search engine will find what you need.
- What is Domestic Abuse?
- Why Do Abusers Abuse?
- I'm Ready to Leave, Now What?
- What About My Kids?
- I Know Someone Who is Being Abused, What Should I Do?
- How Do I Heal After Abuse?
Learn More About Domestic Abuse
- The Five Types of Domestic Abuse
- What is Coercive Control?
- What is Emotional or Mental Abuse?
- Are You a Victim of Gaslighting?
- What is Financial Abuse?
- 14 Misconceptions About Domestic Abuse
- 25 Relationship Red Flags
- How Abusers Speak
- Profile of an Abuser
- Abuse Almost Always Escalates
- Power and Control Wheel Explains Cycle of Violence
- Collecting Evidence of Abuse Without Danger
- Calling a Helpline: What You Can Expect
- When It's Time to Go
- Leaving Without Dying
National Domestic Abuse Helplines and Resources for United Kingdom
If you are experiencing domestic abuse in the United Kingdom, this page provides you with the essential resources needed to find help in East Midlands, East of England, London, North East England, North West England, South East England, South West England, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands. For life-threatening emergencies, dial 999.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
The freephone, 24-hour confidential domestic abuse helpline is operated by the Refuge, a charity that supports women fleeing domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence since 1971. It also offers live chat and an online form for sending messages. Great resource to connect with independent domestic violence advocates (IDVAs), and get help with emotional and practical support, temporary shelter, drop-in services, legal, housing, money, child protection and government support.
Offers a searchable online directory that identifies local domestic abuse services by region for you. Enter your region and whether you are seeking services that support women, children or men, or that maintain the Women's Aid Federation England Quality Mark. Also offers chat and email support.
Men's Advice Line 0808 8010 327
The freephone, confidential domestic abuse helpline is for male victims of domestic abuse, as well as family members, friends and frontline workers. The line is operated by Respect, a pioneering UK domestic abuse organisation leading the development of safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people using violence in their close relationships. Also offers chat and email support.
The Mix 0808 808 4994
The freephone, confidential helpline offers support for people under age 25 on a wide variety of topics such as domestic abuse, relationships, sexual abuse and mental health. Also offers support via discussion boards, group chat, local service finder, live chat and a crisis messenger.
LGBT + Abuse Helpline 0800 999 5428
The freephone, anonymous helpline offers support and advocacy for LGBT persons experiencing domestic abuse. The service partners with agencies that specialise in LGBT services and is operated by GALOP, which has been working in the LGBT community since 1982.
This organization advises, educates and empowers women by providing women with free, confidential legal advice by specialist women solicitors and barristers, enabling women to understand and benefit from their legal right. It offers multiple helplines by topic.
Family law in England: 020 7608 1137
Family law in Wales: 020 7251 6577
Criminal law: 020 7251 8887
Immigration law: 020 8138 8028
Sexual harassment at work: 020 7490 0152
Offers database covering 46 European countries of women's specialist support services (WSS) including national women's helplines, shelters accessible to women survivors of gender-based violence, women's centres, counselling services and specialist services for survivors of sexualised violence.
Domestic Abuse Statistics in England & Wales
- The rate of domestic abuse per 1,000 people based on police-reported crime data is highest in North East England (19) and Yorkshire & Humberside (17) and nearly double the rate of the lowest regions of London (10) and South West England (10).
- An estimated 7.5% of women (1.6 million) and 3.8% of men (786,000) experienced domestic abuse in the last year. There has been no notable difference in the rates of domestic abuse experienced by women and men during the last decade.
- Females were the victim in 75% of the domestic abuse-related crimes recorded by the police, while 24% of the time the victim was male.
- Women aged 20-24 years were substantially more likely than any other age to have experienced domestic violence in the last year than any other age group: 20-24 (15.1%) versus 16-19 (9.6%), 25-34 (8.4%), 35-44 (7.0%), 45-54 (8.0%), 55-59 (4.8%) and 60-74 (4.0%).
- Interestingly, when violence against a person is flagged by police as domestic abuse-related, the most common age where women are the victim is 25-39 years old and for men it is over age 75.
- People of mixed race ethnicity are the most likely to have experienced domestic violence in the last year: Mixed Race (12.9%) versus Black (7.1%), Other (6.7%), White (5.6%) and Asian (3.8%).
- Adults who were separated (20.5%) or divorced (16.6%) were more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year versus those married or civil partnered (3.4%), cohabiting (9.0%), single (11.6%) or widowed (3.5%).
- Adults who lived in urban areas were more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year (6.0%) than those who lived in rural areas (4.2%).
- Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone. Between the year ending March 2016 and the year ending March 2018, 74% of victims of domestic homicide were female compared with 13% of victims of non-domestic homicide.
Domestic Abuse Statistics for Scotland
- Levels of domestic abuse in Scotland have remained relatively stable since 2011-12, with around 58,000 to 61,000 incidents a year. The police recorded 60,641 incidents of domestic abuse in 2018-19, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year.
- The rate of domestic abuse in Scotland based on police reported crime data is 11.2 per 1,000 people and is highest in Dundee City (15.7), West Dunbartonshire (14.8) and Glasgow City (14.7) and lowest in the Shetland Islands (5.2) and East Renfrewshire (5.4).
- Females were the victim in 83% of the domestic abuse-related crimes recorded by the police, while 17% of the time the victim was male. Just over half (51%) of the incidents involved current partners.
- More than 57% of the incidents involved one person who had a previously recorded incidence of domestic abuse, and 39% of the incidents occurred in the victim's or 17% in a joint home.
Domestic Abuse Statistics for Northern Ireland
- Levels of domestic abuse incidents and crimes reported in Northern Ireland have gradually increased in almost every year, now representing 52% and 93% increases in incidents and crimes reported during the last 15 years.
- The rate of domestic abuse incidents and crimes reported in Northern Ireland based on police reported crime data is 16.9 and 9.9 per 1,000 people. Domestic abuse crimes represent 17.5% of all crimes reported in Northern Ireland.
- The number of domestic violence incidents and crimes reported per year are highest in Belfast City (8610/4811) and lowest in Fermanagh & Omagh (1736/862).
- One in seven women (15.1%) and one in 12 men (8.4%) age 16-64 years have experienced domestic abuse; the average for all people in Northern Ireland is one in eight (12.1%) with one in 25 having experienced domestic abuse during the last three years.
- The most common types of domestic abuse crime reports involved violence without injury (32.1%), violence with injury (23.3%), harassment (19.3%) and criminal damage (10.9%).
Sources: Domestic Abuse Statistics and Crime Reports Recorded by the Police in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Department of Justice, 2020, and Experience of Domestic Violence, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Department of Justice, 2017.
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