Support – Domestic abuse

Support – Domestic abuse

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, there is help out there. We’ve added more information on this page

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Domestic abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, social or economic status, sexuality or background. If you feel you are at risk of abuse, or think you know someone who is, there is help and support available.

Our tenancy agreements state that you must not threaten violence or be violent towards anyone living in your home. This includes harassing or using psychological, emotional, physical or sexual abuse to make anyone who lives with you leave the property. We are here to support victims, and we will take action against perpetrators.

In an abusive relationship, one partner tries to dominate the other through physical harm, criticisms, demands, threats, or sexual pressure. This behaviour can be very dangerous, frightening, confusing and damaging for the victim.

Psychological or emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse. Abuse in a relationship is never acceptable, regardless of the circumstances, and is never the victim’s fault. Physical and sexual assault, threats and stalking are crimes, and you can report these to the police.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to:

Psychological – Making you feel devalued and afraid. If you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), threatening to ‘out’ you to your family.
Physical – Kicking, punching and restraining.
Sexual – Rape, making you do things you don’t want to do, preventing you from practising safe sex.
Economic – Taking your money and/or controlling your money.

National support services

National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
ManKind Initiative - support for male victims
Womans Aid
Respect Phoneline - for perpetrators
Men's advice line
Galop - support for the LGBT+ community
Restitute – Supporting third party victims of crimes


Questions to ask yourself

  • Is your partner or another family member abusive?
  • Is your partner jealous and possessive?
  • Are they charming one minute and abusive the next?
  • Do they tell you what to wear, where to go, who to see?
  • Do they constantly put you down?
  • Do they play mind games and make you doubt your judgment?
  • Do they control your money?
  • Do they pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?
  • Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making them angry?
  • Do they monitor or track your movements or messages?
  • Do they use anger and intimidation to frighten and control you?

Checking if someone has an abusive past

If you are concerned that a new, former or existing partner has an abusive past, you can ask the police to check under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as ‘Clare’s Law’). This is your ‘right to ask’. If records show that you may be at risk of domestic abuse, the police will consider disclosing the information. A disclosure can be made if it is legal, proportionate and necessary to do so.

If you are concerned about a friend or family member, you can apply for a disclosure on behalf of someone you know.

You can make a request to the police for information about a person’s previous violent offending in person at the police station or elsewhere, by telephone, by email, online or as part of a police investigation. Support agencies and services can also help you ask the police about this.

  • Support services in Suffolk
    • Anglia Care Trust is a Domestic Abuse Outreach Service, also known as DAOS.
    • Leeway is an independent charity providing support to adults, young people and children who are experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk.
    • Lighthouse is a Suffolk-based charity that supports women, young people and children who are affected by domestic abuse.
    • Bury St Edmunds Womens Aid Centre (the Refuge) is available to anyone living in West or Mid Suffolk. They provide safety and support for women and children experiencing Domestic Abuse as well as outreach services. They also support male survivors and work with children and young people living in the community.
    • Norfolk & Suffolk Victim Care covers the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk, are a free, confidential support service specifically designed to help victims and witnesses of crime.
    • Compassion is a charity based in Sudbury. They support all victims of domestic abuse, both current and historic, providing information/ advice and a range of support services over the phone, online and face-to-face.
  • Support services in Norfolk
    • NIDAS stands for Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service and is a domestic abuse support service for victims of domestic abuse.
    • Leeway – an independent charity providing support to adults, young people and children who are experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk
    • Alumah provides a range of services to help those who have experienced domestic abuse.
    • Norfolk & Suffolk Victim Care covers the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk, are a free, confidential support service specifically designed to help victims and witnesses of crime.
  • Support services in Cambridgeshire
  • Support services in Essex
    • Compass is a single point of access funded by Essex County Council in partnership with the Office of Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to support victims of domestic abuse across Southend, Essex and Thurrock.
    • Next Chapter (formerly known as Colchester & Tendring Women’s Refuge) is a domestic abuse charity working across the areas of Tendring, Colchester, Maldon, Chelmsford, Braintree & Uttlesford. They provide free and confidential services to support people who are currently experiencing or have previously experienced domestic abuse.
    • Changing Pathways is a local domestic abuse charity working in South and South West Essex. They provide free and confidential support and advocacy to individuals subjected to domestic abuse and stalking in the areas of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Thurrock, Harlow and Epping Forest.
    • Victim Support Essex 
  • Further support for victims

    If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

    If you are a victim of domestic abuse, we can support you. We are working to become DAHA accredited to ensure we deliver safe and effective responses to domestic abuse. Put simply, if you need to reach out to us because you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic abuse, our team will be fully trained to support you.

    If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you can reach out and speak to anyone in our team.

    Making silent calls to the police

    If you are in immediate danger and able to dial 999 but unable to speak, pressing 55 or tapping the handset will alert the call operator that you are a genuine caller and that you need help.

    Try to listen to the instructions given by the call operator about what to do next and call from a landline if you can.

    Safe Spaces

    If you are experiencing domestic abuse, finding support or considering your options can be isolating and difficult. That’s why Safe Spaces have been created.

    Safe Spaces are open in Boots, TSB Banks, Superdrug pharmacies, Morrisons & Well pharmacies & many independent pharmacies across the UK.

    How to access a Safe Space

    • Walk into any participating Safe Space in the UK.
    • Ask a member of staff at the counter to use their Safe Space.
    • You will be shown to the Safe Space, which you can use to access the help you need.
  • Support for perpetrators

    If you are struggling with anger or jealousy toward a partner, child or family member and feel you may resort to mental or physical abuse or have already lashed out, support is available to help you change your mindset.

    Contact the Respect Phoneline on 0808 8024040 (Mon–Fri, 9am-8pm) or visit their website: You can talk to them in confidence about your violence and domestic abuse. A friendly advisor will listen to you without judgement and give honest advice.

    Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes

    Through The Change Project, you can refer yourself to Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes.

    Find out more here

    Suffolk Constabulary

    Suffolk Constabulary is raising awareness of its Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Unit (DAPU), which aims to challenge abusive behaviour and protect victims of domestic abuse.

    The team, which consists of one police officer and two behavioural change caseworkers, work one-to-one with individuals, from those on the verge of offending to those already causing harm, with the aim to stop domestic abuse from occurring, recurring and escalating.

    The six-month programme comprises a minimum of 20 sessions with a behavioural change caseworker.

    For more information, please contact

  • How can I give someone else support?

    Here are some signs you may pick up on that could point towards someone being abused:

    • Low self-esteem – issues with confidence.
    • Anxiety towards the end of the day – and perhaps a change in the ability to manage workload.
    • Avoidance of social calls/not attending social calls without notice and explanation.
    • Bruises and wearing inappropriate clothing to cover bruises.
    • Unexplained aches and pains.

    It can be worrying when someone you care about is being hurt or abused by their partner. The most important thing is to talk to them and listen to what they have to say without passing judgement or opinion. Be aware of where they can go for help, and don’t get frustrated if they choose not to accept help. Anxiety and fear are overwhelming, and there are tremendous obstacles people will face when leaving an abusive relationship.

    Start to learn about different support agencies and signpost them to the agencies for advice and support. Please encourage them to keep a log of incidents and evidence of their abuse so that when they are ready to accept help, they will be in a better position to move forward positively.

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