When you’re in an abusive relationship, it can leave you feeling trapped and unable to take the steps needed to get you out of the situation.  The emotions involved are complex; you may feel guilty about taking action, especially when your partner is apologetic afterwards.

Domestic abuse isn’t limited to physical violence. Emotional, sexual, financial and psychological abuse are no less destructive and can be more difficult to understand.  Such abuse can have a huge impact on the self-confidence and mental health of the victim and in some cases can lead them to question their own sanity.

Taking action

The good news is that there is some great support available for those that find themselves in an abusive relationship.

The police now take domestic abuse very seriously and have specially trained officers dedicated to dealing with such cases.

Tel: 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency)

There are some excellent national organisations and charities that can offer support and guidance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

 

Victim Support

0808 168 9111

 

Women’s Aid National Domestic Helpline

0808 2000 247

 

Local organisations exist all around the country and can help and support you, whether it be advice, a support group where you can share with others in a similar situation, or practical help to rehouse or recover from the effects of abuse.

If you are injured and have to seek medical attention, it’s wise to be honest with the doctors and nurses who treat you about how your injury was caused.  This allows them to make better decisions about treatment and to offer you advice on the other help available to you.

If you’re being mentally or physically abused, you can apply to the family court for a non-molestation order and/or an occupation order.  These are legal orders that can stop your partner coming near to you or from contacting you, and can regulate the terms on which you occupy your home, often excluding the abuser from the home so you can live without fear of them returning.

If you have called the police after an incident of domestic abuse and the perpetrator has been charged, their bail conditions may include equivalent restrictions to both these legal orders, but if you haven’t involved the police you can still apply for both these orders on an emergency basis.

Clearly it’s important to get advice from a solicitor and they will recommend the right solution for your particular situation.  If you have evidence (and both police and medical evidence count) of abuse, you can usually get legal aid to help.

 

For more information and advice visit:

www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse

www.womensaid.org.uk

www.saferplaces.co.uk