Domestic Abuse/Violence/Forced Marriage

The home office define Domestic Violence 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: 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."*

If at any point you fear for your or your child's safety you must phone the police.

For FREE advice from a Domestic Violence and Abuse Expert please click HERE.

Below you will find links to the main national organisations offerring support and advice.

You may also want to look in the Local Support Directory for local your area.

Can I get Legal Aid?

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are divorcing or separating from an abusive partner you can get legal aid to help. This can help with the divorce or things such as child contact or show to share money or property. (Ministry of Justice)

We have a series of easy to follow fact sheets prepared by one of our Family Law Panel members Mills & Reeve which clearly outline how the family court can help you and what proceedures are involved. Click here.

If you would like some free legal advice from one of our Family Law Panel members then please click here.

Finally, our partners at OneSpace have an excellent section on Abuse and Violence including advice and support for those who are now looking to rebuild their lives.

National Organisations

Womens Aid

Women’s Aid is the national domestic violence charity which co-ordinates and supports a network of over 370 local domestic violence organisations. Their website offers advice and support including The Survivor's Handbook. They also have a 24 hour National Domestic Violence helpline 0808 2000 247.

Internationl Directory of Domestic Violence agencies

If you are living abroad and experiencing domestic violence this directory is a good starting point for getting help.

Scottish Womens Aid

The leading organisation in Scotland working towards the preventions of Domestic Abuse. An important aspect of their work is ensuring that women and children with experience of domestic abuse get the serivices they need, both form Women's Aid groups and the agenceis they are likely to contact.  They provide specialist serives to women, and children and young people.  These include safe refuge accommodation, information and support. They have a 24 hour helpline 0800 027 1234 24.

Womens Aid Ireland

Women's Aid helps thousands of women affected by domestic violence every year. Our services include:

Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900, One to One Support, ServiceCourt Accompaniment Service, Dolphin House Family Law Court, Support & Referral Service, Referral to local refuges and support services

The Hide Out

This is a very useful site, also part of the Women’s Aid charity, for children and young people to help them understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action.


Refuge's network of safe houses provides emergency accommodation for women and children when they are most in need. They have a 24 hour helpline number: 0808 2000 247

The National Centre for Domestic Violence

NCDV is an independent registered charity that helps survivors of domestic violence to obtain protection against an abuser, as well as offering services to the police, probation service, domestic abuse agency workers, legal profession and judiciary.

We specialise in providing free, fast and effective legal support to survivors of domestic violence, usually by helping individuals to obtain injunctions from their local county court. This free service is provided to everybody, regardless of their financial circumstances, sexual orientation, race, gender, age, or political or religious belief or otherwise.

Broken Rainbow UK

Broken Rainbow is the only national help-line offering support to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans (LGBT) people who are experiencing domestic violence, as well as their friends and families. Their National LGBT Domestic Violence Help-line 0300 999 5428 is open every Monday & Thursday 2pm–8pm, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 10am–5pm and they also run a specific trans session – with trained trans workers on Tuesdays 1-5pm. You can also contact our email help service

Rape Crisis

Rape Crisis Centres provide crucial crisis and long term specialised counselling, support and independent advocacy for all women and girls of all ages who have experienced any form of sexual violence both recently and/or in the past; centres are community based, and independent of government and the criminal justice system.

On this website you will find information about rape and sexual violence and details of your nearest Rape Crisis Centre if you need support. There is also information for family, friends, students and professionals.

Karma Nivarna

Karma Nirvana is a registered Charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse. The words Karma Nirvana simply mean 'Peace and Enlightenment' as we hope our victims will achieve this through our work. We have a National helpline called the Honour Network Helpline which is open to supporting men, women and children. Karma Nirvana was established by Jasvinder Sanghera in 1993 who experienced similar issues and now campaigns as a survivor. Our aim is to raise public awareness on the issues of Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage. In breaking the silence we provide education through accredited training, including seminars, conferences and workshops. Our expert call handlers provide confidential listening support, options and guidance to all professionals, victims and survivors of honour based abuse through our national helpline 0800 5999247.


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