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What is domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is a serious issue which results in two women dying every week. We know that approximately one in four women, and one in six men are likely to suffer from domestic violence at some point in their lives.
The terms 'domestic violence' or 'domestic abuse' can have many different meanings and interpretations. East Cambridgeshire District Council uses the Home Office definition:
"Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality."
This means that it is not limited to physical abuse only, and that we are not making the assumption that all victims are women, or that all perpetrators are men. Domestic abuse is something that can affect people regardless of their age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth or geography.
Some people can also be affected indirectly by domestic abuse. For instance, children and young people who live in the same house can often be traumatised by what they see or hear. We also know that there are strong links between domestic abuse and child abuse.
What can I do if I think I am suffering domestic abuse?
Many people do not tell anyone about the abuse that they are suffering. Unfortunately, domestic abuse usually continues to happen, and gets worse as time goes by.
Domestic abuse is a crime, and you have the right to be protected from it. You will probably feel apprehensive or scared of telling someone about what is happening to you. There are many organisations who are specialists in dealing with domestic abuse, and who will be sensitive and understanding of your case. They will be able to help you to stop abuse from continuing to happen.
We have therefore put together a Directory of Services for those people who are affected by domestic abuse. You can use it to find out more information about organisations who can help you overcome domestic abuse.
Remember that if you or your children are in immediate danger, call 999 immediately.
Further help and advice:
Women's Aid - 0808 2000 247 - can help you find refuge and/or advise you what to do in your situation.
National Centre for domestic violence - 0844 8044 999 - can help obtain injunctions to keep you and your family safe as survivors of domestic abuse.
ManKind Initiative - 01823 334 244 - Mondays to Fridays, 10am-4pm and 7pm-9pm - free confidential advice for male victims of domestic violence.
Men's Advice Line - 0808 801 0327 - advice for male victims of domestic violence, free from landlines and most mobiles
White Ribbon - White Ribbons mission is to end male violence against women once and for all. They work with men and boys to challenge those male cultures that lead to harassment, visit White Ribbon to find out more.