What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. Although the vast majority of cases are experienced by women and perpetrated by men it can and does affect all communities. It can happen to anyone, it is not prohibited by age, gender, race or sexuality.
Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
Psychological and/or emotional abuse
Physical or sexual abuse
Financial or economic abuse
Harassment and stalking
Online or digital abuse
Am I in an Abusive Relationship?
Everyone has arguments, and everyone disagrees with their partners, family members and others close to them from time to time. And we all do things at times that we regret, and which cause unhappiness to those we care about. But if this begins to form a consistent pattern, then it is an indication of domestic violence and abuse.
The answers to the following questions may help you:
Has your partner tried to keep you from seeing your friends or family?
Does your partner constantly check up on you or follow you?
Does your partner unjustly accuse you of flirting or of having affairs with others?
Does your partner constantly belittle or humiliate you, or regularly criticise or insult you?
Has your partner prevented you or made it hard for you to continue or start studying, or from going to work?
Are you ever afraid of your partner?
Have you ever changed your behaviour because you are afraid of what your partner might do or say to you?
Has your partner ever destroyed any of your possessions deliberately?
Has your partner ever hurt or threatened you or your children?
Has your partner ever kept you short of money so you are unable to buy food and other necessary items for yourself and your children or made you take out loans?
Has your partner ever forced you to do something that you really did not want to do?
Has your partner ever tried to prevent you from taking necessary medication, or seeking medical help when you felt you needed it?
Has your partner ever tried to control you by telling you that you could be deported because of your immigration status?
Has your partner ever threatened to take your children away, or said they would refuse to let you take them with you, or even to see them, if you left them?
Has your partner ever forced or harassed you to have sex with them or with other people? Have they made you participate in sexual activities that you were uncomfortable with?
Has your partner ever tried to prevent you leaving the house?
Does your partner blame their use of alcohol or drugs, mental health condition or family history for their behaviour?
Does your partner control your use of alcohol or drugs (for example, by forcing your intake or by withholding substances)?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, this indicates that you may be experiencing domestic abuse.
Where Can I Get Help?
You are not alone, we are here to help. Contact us here at WWiN - whether it's just a quick question, advice or to make a self-referral for ongoing help and support:
24hr Helpline 0800 066 5555
Office Hours Mon-Thu 9am-5pm and Fri 9am-4:30pm 0191 565 8877
WebChat available Monday to Friday 9am-4:30pm
Complete our online referral form here
If you are not in the Wearside area then you can access the Women's Aid Directory below for services in your area. The directory contains details of local, regional and national services specialising in violence against women and girls including domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage and stalking/harassment.
The directory is regularly updated by the services listed so you’ll be able to find the right local support, when you need it most.
You can also contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247
Specialist Help & Support
WWiN do not only support women affected by domestic abuse. We support anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, class, or disability. We support all.
There are other specialist services you can contact:
Galop runs the national domestic abuse helpline for members of the LGBT+ community.
National Helpline 0800 999 5428
Click button - info for friends/family who are worried that the LGBT+ person they know is being victimised by their partner.
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them.
National Helpline 0808 801 0327
Karma Nirvana runs a national helpline for victims of honour-based abuse, forced marriage and domestic abuse.
National Helpline 0800 5999 247
Action on Elder Abuse run Hourglass confidential helpline providing information and support to anyone concerned about harm, abuse or exploitation of an older person.
National Helpline 0808 808 8141
SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).
Telephone: 020 3947 2601
Text/WhatsApp/Facetime: 07970 350366
Online only help and resources in several languages about identifying manipulative situations and how friends can support those being abused.
Worried About Your Own or Someone Else's Behaviour?
If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, is showing worrying behaviours that may be abusive there is support available:
If you're in the Wearside area and worried about your own behaviour you can contact Right Turn on 0191 337 1559 or email@example.com.
If you're a friend or family member concerned around someone's behaviour, or worried for someone's safety, you can contact the friends and family service Findaway via https://www.wefindaway.org.uk
Nationally, the Respect telephone number is an anonymous and confidential helpline for those who are harming their partners and families. The helpline also takes calls from partners or ex-partners, friends and relatives who are concerned about perpetrators. A webchat service is available Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 11am and from 3pm to 4pm.
Telephone support available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm: 0808 802 4040
Click button - info for friends/family who are worried that the LGBT+ person they know is using violent/abusive behaviour towards their partner.