Domestic abuse ruins lives.
It can affect both men and women in any kind of relationship.
Seeking help though is a positive step to end the abuse and start to live your life without fear.
What is domestic abuse?
- Physical abuse – hitting, kicking, shoving, restraining, hair pulling, etc
- Sexual abuse – rape, refusal to practice safe sex, threats, etc
- Financial abuse – controlling money and bank accounts, insisting on controlling expenditure, running up debts in your name, etc
- Psychological and emotional abuse – stopping you having contact with family and friends, putting you down, not allowing you out on your own, threatening to harm children/pets/family; telling you you’re stupid/you won’t find anyone else/no-one will believe you, etc
How can Soha help?
We are here to help. Even if all you want to do is talk to someone or just want to find out about your options. Please contact one of our neighbourhood officers:
We have a range of ways we can help and support you. We will:
- always treat any information you give us confidentially
- always offer you an appointment within 48 hours
- arrange for you to meet with either a male or female member of staff – whoever you would feel most at ease with
- meet you wherever you feel most comfortable (ie at home, in our office or somewhere neutral (a café, family centre, etc)
- support you to stay in your home, unless we agree a move is the best option
- improve the security of your home
- put you in touch with other support services
- take legal action against the perpetrator, if appropriate
Many cases of domestic abuse are crimes. In these cases we will work closely with the police to support you.
What can I do?
Here’s some practical advice, but remember, if you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are unable to talk on the phone, listen to the questions from the operator when you have called 999 and, if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set. The operator can pick up details of your location from a landline phone call. If you have to replace the handset, the operator will stay on the line for 45 seconds in case you want to resume the call by picking it up again.
If you are calling from a mobile, you can press 55 to be put straight through to the police. This does not allow them to track your location..
- Do you have a neighbour you can trust who can call the police if they hear a disturbance at your home?
- Think about where you could go if you had to leave home in a hurry
- Think of a code word – tell your children, family and neighbours so that they can call the police if you use it
- Keep enough money somewhere safe for a taxi/bus/train fare for emergencies
- Keep safe other important documents like passports, driving licence, National Insurance number, marriage/birth certificates, etc
- Get a spare set of house and car keys cut
- Make sure you have important telephone numbers stored in your phone (GP surgery, school, etc)
- Think about how quickly you could gather together important medicines, baby provisions, children’s toys, etc if you needed to. But it’s better to leave things behind than put you or your children’s safety at risk
Support and advice
Reducing the risk of domestic abuse: 0800 731 0055
Oxfordshire area 24-hour, free, helpline (it won’t show on your home telephone bill but may appear on your itemised mobile phone bill).
National Domestic Abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247
This is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. National 24-hour, free helpline (it won’t show on your home telephone bill but may appear on your itemised mobile phone bill).
Refuge: 0808 2000 247
Refuge supports women and children through a range of services, including refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach and culturally specific services
Victim Support: 0808 168 9111
Confidential service providing practical and emotional support.
National Centre for Domestic Abuse: 0800 970 2070
Provides fast, free legal advice to victims of domestic violence.
Rape Crisis: 0808 802 9999
Help for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence. Some local rape crisis organisations also provide services to men and boys; if they don't then they will be able to provide details of other relevant local support organisations.
Can offer counselling to individuals who are in or have left a violent relationship.
Kiran Asian Women's Aid: 020 8558 1986
Advice and support for Asian women.
Hourglass: 0808 808 8141 Formerly Action on Elder Abuse, Hourglass runs the UK’s only national, freephone helpline for anyone concerned in any way about the abuse of older people.
Shelterline: 0808 800 4444
Free housing advice helpline from Shelter.
Family Lives: 0808 800 2222
A confidential and free helpline service (previously known as Parentline) offering information, advice, guidance and support on any aspect of parenting and family life.
Survivors UK: 0845 122 1201
Survivors UK provides information, support and counselling for men who have been raped or sexually abused.
The ManKind Initiative: 01823 334 244 A confidential helpline for men who experience violence from their partners or ex-partners.
ChildLine: 0800 1111
Advice and support for children. Also covers the work of the former Asian Child Protection Helpline.
Young Minds Parenting Helpline: 0808 802 5544 Improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people and empowering their parents and carers
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender helplines
Broken Rainbow: 0300 9995 428
Provides services, advice and support to the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community experiencing domestic violence.
Switchboard, the LGBT+ Helpline: 0300 330 0630
Provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender people and anyone who needs to help/advice with issues around their sexuality.
Helplines for people with disabilities
DeafHope: Text 07966 976749; email@example.com; phone 020 3947 2600
DeafHope is the only sign-language based service designed to help deaf women and children who suffer domestic violence .
Respond: 0808 808 0700
Provides advice and support to disabled people with learning difficulties who have been abused.
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