What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is used by someone to control you or someone you know or take power over you or them. Abuse can include physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, emotional and financial abuse.

Domestic abuse can be in many different forms including coercive control, sexual violence, digital or online abuse and harassment, human trafficking and modern slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour’ based violence.

If you or someone you know changes their behaviour because they are frightened of how their partner or someone within their household will react, they are being abused.

Help and support for domestic abuse

Safeguarding adults and children

Do you need help protecting yourself and others from harm?

For more information on Safeguarding adults and children, please click here.

Spotting the signs

If you believe you or someone you know could be a victim of domestic abuse, here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Does the person have visible bruises or burns on their wrists, face or body?
  • Is their home damaged? – are there holes in the walls or doors? Are cupboard missing doors or windows broken?
  • Does the person come across as nervous, anxious or afraid? Do they appear withdrawn or isolated from family and friends and avoid making eye contact?
  • Does the person try to hide damage to their property or injuries from you?
  • Is their home chaotic looking and dirty? Are there lots of flies? Can you see soiled bedding and clothes?
  • Is there any evidence of drug or substance misuse?
  • Does a child act in an inappropriate way in your company? Do they use sexually explicit language or sexually explicit behaviour?
  • Does anyone appear dehydrated or malnourished? Do they beg you for food or drink or money?

Reporting abuse

When reporting abuse always trust your judgment and don’t be afraid to report something you see.

  • If someone is at immediate risk of harm, please call the Police on 999.
  • For non-emergency Police, please call 101.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can discuss this in confidence with your housing officer who also will be able to provide you with advice and assistance regarding housing options.

Support organisations if you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic abuse:

Bright Sky app

Bright Sky is a free to download mobile app, launched in partnership with the Vodafone Foundation, providing support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Make a Stand pledge

Since 2018, we have been supporting the Chartered Institute of Housing's 'Make a Stand' campaign. Our four pledge commitments, which we are working to put in place, are:

Pledge one

Put in place and embed a policy to support customers who are affected by domestic abuse.

Pledge two

Make information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on our website and in other appropriate places so that they are easily accessible for customers and staff.

Pledge three

Put in place an HR policy, or amend an existing policy, to support members of staff who may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Pledge four

Appoint a champion at a senior level in our organisation to own the activity we are doing to support people experiencing domestic abuse.

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