Domestic abuse

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and violence, or know someone who is, there is help available - The West Mercia Women's Aid Helpline on 0800 980 3331 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is staffed by trained workers who can offer you support, safety planning, information and advice. 

Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm).

In an emergency always dial 999 and ask for police. If you are not safe to speak - call 999 and then press 55. Guidance on the silent calls ("Silent solution"): Silent solution guide (Independent Office for Police Conduct website, opens in a new window).

The stay at home instructions as a result of Covid 19 does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) domestic abuse and your community

You might be worried about yourself or a friend or relative’s wellbeing whilst we are being asked to stay at home as part of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency measures. If so, help is available.

On the Women’s Aid - COVID-19/Coronavirus: Safety Advice for Survivors (opens in a new window) page you will be able to find information and advice about how you can cover your tracks online, access help for you or your children and how you may respond in different situations.There is also information about what support is available if you wish to leave your home and includes information about services available who can help you plan the safest way to leave.

There is also useful advice in the Domestic abuse - practical steps for keeping safe during social distancing leaflet. This will provide you with information and advice about ways you can use your smart phone to ask for help, practical steps for keeping safe during social distancing, personal safety apps you can download and what to do if you are worried about a friend or neighbour.

About domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is any form of unacceptable personal abuse and happens to women, men and children. At some point in their lives, it will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men.

  • it can be committed by a partner or ex partner, or a family member
  • it can involve a wide range of abusive and controlling behaviour
  • domestic abuse can also include issues such as forced marriage and honour crimes

Domestic violence and abuse is defined as:

“any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological 
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial 
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: a continuing act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

There are three important steps to take if you are being abused or threatened by your partner, ex-partner or someone else close to you:

  1. recognise it is happening
  2. accept you are not to blame
  3. seek help and support

Consider your children

  • often, children witness incidents and they can sometimes be physically hurt too
  • experience of domestic abuse can leave children confused, distressed, guilty, helpless and worried
  • it can impact many aspects of their life, such as school and relationships
  • most children will be aware of the abuse, even if they are not in the room
  • it’s important they understand that it is not normal or acceptable and its not your fault

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime
  • two women a week are murdered by their ex or current partner in the UK
  • every 30 seconds the police receive a phone call regarding domestic abuse
  • domestic abuse accounts for between 16% and one quarter of all recorded violent crime
  • nearly 90% of domestic abuse is witnessed or heard by children
  • 40% of young people have been affected by domestic abuse in their own relationships
  • domestic abuse often starts and escalates during pregnancy
  • someone may endure up to 50 domestic abuse incidents before they attempt to seek help or tell anyone
  • on a typical day, 3615 women and 3,580 children are resident in refuge accommodation in England
  • many abusers try to avoid personal responsibility for their behaviour by blaming it on something or someone else

Video library


Visit YouTube for all our playlists (opens in a new window). Note: Some videos may trigger strong reactions.

Further reading