Admitting to yourself and others that you are experiencing domestic abuse is very difficult; however it may be your first step towards getting help and support.
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is 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 (e.g. being told you are worthless)
- physical(e.g. being hit)
- sexual (e.g. rape or degrading treatment)
- financial (e.g. having money withheld)
- emotional (e.g. name calling, put downs)
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: an 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.” (This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.)
Early warning signs
- Being cut off from family and friends and being isolated
- Suffering humiliation or being insulted in front of others
- Constantly getting criticised and being told you can’t cope without them
How can I report domestic abuse?
- If you are in danger, call the Police on 999
- The First Step – 0151 548 3333
- National Domestic Violence Helpline – 24 hours – 0808 2000 247
Arrangements already in place to support those experiencing / perpetrating domestic abuse include:
- Specialist Domestic Violence Courts, where perpetrators of domestic abuse will be fast-tracked through the criminal justice system. Specially trained magistrates will hear cases of this type, and this will ensure that offenders are dealt with swiftly and robustly.
- Independent advocates (IDVAs) are available to support victim survivors in high risk cases, providing advice and information at the point of crisis.
- The Knowsley Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is a multi agency approach to supporting high risk victim survivors of domestic abuse and any children involved.
- Help and support is promoted throughout the year, including the White Ribbon campaign - an annual event encouraging people to wear a white ribbon and pledging never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
- The Freedom Programme is offered in Knowsley, helping women to understand the issues of what domestic abuse is and how perpetrators use a variety of different tactics to control them. For further details contact Knowsley Domestic Violence Support Services (KDVSS) on 0151 548 3333.
- The First Step offers a range of services for those involved in abusive relationships, including the InPACT Programme, which is designed to help men who wish to address their abusive behaviour.
- Knowsley Council and a number of partner agencies have introduced Domestic Abuse Champions – dedicated people in organisations who staff can turn to for support.
Domestic abuse facts
- One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse / violence at some point in their lifetime.
- One woman every three days is killed by a current or former partner.
- In the UK, police receive a call every 60 seconds about domestic abuse, yet it is estimated that only 4 out of every 10 incidents are reported.
- 750,000 children witness domestic violence every year and around half of them have been abused.
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