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Domestic violence & abuse

Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone. Find out how to recognise the signs and where to get help.

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 have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of sexuality.

It can include the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

Domestic abuse can include harassment, stalking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour based abuse.

Types of abuse

Psychological

Does your partner ever:

  • Threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • Destroy things that belong to you?
  • Stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • Threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • Read your emails, texts or letters?
  • Harass or follow you?

Physical abuse

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.

Does your partner ever:

  • Slap, hit or punch you?
  • Push or shove you?
  • Bite or kick you?
  • Burn you?
  • Choke you or hold you down?
  • Throw things?

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone.

Does your partner ever:

  • touch you in a way you do not want to be touched?
  • make unwanted sexual demands?
  • hurt you during sex?
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
  • pressure you to have sex?

Financial abuse

Does your partner ever:

  • Restrict your money
  • Use your bank cards/credit card without your permission
  • Take out finance agreements in your name (ie: phone contract)
  • Gamble with family money

Emotional abuse or coercive control

Does your partner ever:

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or downplay it?
  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
  • accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
  • tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
  • control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?
  • monitor your social media profiles, share photos or videos of you without your consent or use GPS locators to know where you are?

We can help you by

  • Protecting you and your children.
  • Removing the risk of further violence.
  • Arranging first aid or other medical assistance.
  • Finding out what has happened.
  • Offering you support and reassurance.
  • Helping you to access other agencies

I think I'm a victim. What can the police do to help?

If the abuse is happening now

If you or someone else are in immediate danger or there is a threat to your life please call 999 as soon as possible.

If you dial 999 and are unable to speak, the emergency operator will ask you to dial 55 and follow their instructions to quickly put you in touch with police.

If you've been abused but didn’t report it at the time

If there is no incident happening now and you are not in any immediate danger, you can contact the police by calling 101.

Or use our online reporting form 

 

I've reported an incident to police. What happens next?

  • An officer will speak to you to take a few details, explain to you the support available and talk about a safety plan to keep you safe. With your consent we can refer you to support agencies to ensure you are supported during our investigation.
  • An officer will then be assigned to your case and will guide you through our investigation.
  • When reporting domestic abuse you will be asked a number of questions relating to the incident. We will ask you to explain what has happened, when it happened and if there is any evidence that can help our investigation.
  • Officers will look at all possible lines of enquiry and carry out an investigation to try and identify the offender or offenders and bring them to justice.

Our priority is your safety, we will seek to take positive action where appropriate and deal with offenders through the courts where possible.

We'll update you and support will be available throughout our investigation. 

I want help but I don't want to speak to the police

Northumberland

If you live in Northumberland and want to speak to someone independent to the police. Here's a list of support agencies that can help. 

DASSN –Domestic Abuse Support Service Northumberland 01670 820199 Visit: livingplus.placesforpeople.co.uk/DASSN

NDAS – Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service 01434 608030  Visit: www.nda.services

Cygnus Support (mental health & emotional wellbeing) 01670 853977 Visit: cygnussupport.com

Grace (Northumberland Rape Crisis) 0800 0352794 Visit: gracenrc.org.uk

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Rape & Sexual Assault Counselling (REACH)  03333 448283 Visit: reachsarc.org.uk

Victims First Northumbria0800 011 3116 enquiries@victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

The Forced Marriage Protection Unit support and advice for victims of forced marriage 020 7008 0151 fmu@fco.gov.uk

The Angelou Centre (BAME women and children, women with no recourse to public funds) 0191 2260394  Visit: angelou-centre.org.uk

The Halo Project (Honour Based Abuse/Forced Marriage) 01642 683 045 Visit: haloproject.org.uk

Community Counselling Co-operative - Supporting male victims of domestic violence in Northumbria 07549 698 050 or 07549 698 049

North Tyneside

If you live in North Tyneside and want to speak to someone independent to the police. Here's a list of support agencies that can help. 

Harbour 0191 2513305 Visit:myharbour.org.uk

Acorns Project Support for children and young people 0191 349 8366 Visit: acornsproject.org.uk

Rape Crisis Tyneside & Northumberland 0800 035 2794 Visit: www.rctn.org.uk

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Rape & Sexual Assault Counselling (REACH)  03333 448283 Visit: reachsarc.org.uk

Victims First Northumbria0800 011 3116 enquiries@victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

The Forced Marriage Protection Unit support and advice for victims of forced marriage 020 7008 0151 fmu@fco.gov.uk

The Angelou Centre (BAME women and children, women with no recourse to public funds) 0191 2260394 Visit: angelou-centre.org.uk

The Halo Project (Honour Based Abuse/Forced Marriage) 01642 683 045 Visit: haloproject.org.uk

Community Counselling Co-operative - Supporting male victims of domestic violence in Northumbria 07549 698 050 or 07549 698 049

Gateshead

If you live in Gateshead and want to speak to someone independent to the police. Here's a list of support agencies that can help. 

Domestic Abuse Service Gateshead  0191 4333333

Jewish Womens Aid  0808 801 0500 Visit: www.jwa.og.uk

Rape Crisis Tyneside & Northumberland 0800 035 2794 Visit: www.rctn.org.uk

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Rape & Sexual Assault Counselling (REACH)  03333 448283 Visit:reachsarc.org.uk

Victims First Northumbria0800 011 3116 enquiries@victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

The Forced Marriage Protection Unit support and advice for victims of forced marriage 020 7008 0151 fmu@fco.gov.uk

The Angelou Centre (BAME women and children, women with no recourse to public funds) 0191 2260394 Visit: angelou-centre.org.uk

The Halo Project (Honour Based Abuse/Forced Marriage) 01642 683 045 Visit: haloproject.org.uk

Community Counselling Co-operative - Supporting male victims of domestic violence in Northumbria 07549 698 050 or 07549 698 049

Newcastle

If you live in Newcastle and want to speak to someone independent to the police. Here's a list of support agencies that can help. 

NIDAS – Northumberland Integrated Domestic Abuse Services 0191 2146501 Visit: www.newcastleidas.co.uk

West End Women and Girls DV Peer Educators 0781 2981430 Visit:westendwomenandgirls.co.uk

Newcastle Women’s Aid 0191 261 0504 or 0800 9232622 Visit:newcastlewomensaid.org.uk

Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland  0800 035 2794 Visit: www.rctn.org.uk

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Rape & Sexual Assault Counselling (REACH)  03333 448283 Visit:reachsarc.org.uk

Victims First Northumbria0800 011 3116 enquiries@victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

The Forced Marriage Protection Unit support and advice for victims of forced marriage 020 7008 0151 fmu@fco.gov.uk

The Angelou Centre (BAME women and children, women with no recourse to public funds) 0191 2260394 Visit: angelou-centre.org.uk

The Halo Project (Honour Based Abuse/Forced Marriage) 01642 683 045Visit: haloproject.org.uk

Community Counselling Co-operative - Supporting male victims of domestic violence in Northumbria 07549 698 050 or 07549 698 049

South Tyneside

If you live in South Tyneside and want to speak to someone independent to the police. Here's a list of support agencies that can help. 

Impact Family Services 0191 4567577 or 0737 5788835

Jewish Womens Aid 0808 801 0500 Visit: www.jwa.og.uk

Rape Crisis Tyneside & Northumberland 0800 035 2794 Visit: www.rctn.org.uk

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Rape & Sexual Assault Counselling (REACH)  03333 448283 Visit: reachsarc.org.uk

Victims First Northumbria0800 011 3116 enquiries@victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

The Forced Marriage Protection Unit support and advice for victims of forced marriage 020 7008 0151 fmu@fco.gov.uk

The Angelou Centre (BAME women and children, women with no recourse to public funds) 0191 2260394 Visit:angelou-centre.org.uk

The Halo Project (Honour Based Abuse/Forced Marriage) 01642 683 045 Visit: haloproject.org.uk

Community Counselling Co-operative - Supporting male victims of domestic violence in Northumbria 07549 698 050 or 07549 698 049

Sunderland

If you live in Sunderland and want to speak to someone independent to the police. Here's a list of support agencies that can help. 

Wearside Women in Need 0800 0665555 Visit:www.wwin.org.uk

Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland 0800 035 2794 Visit:www.rctn.org.uk

Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Rape & Sexual Assault Counselling (REACH)  03333 448283 Visit:reachsarc.org.uk

Victims First Northumbria0800 011 3116 enquiries@victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk

The Forced Marriage Protection Unit support and advice for victims of forced marriage 020 7008 0151 fmu@fco.gov.uk

The Angelou Centre (BAME women and children, women with no recourse to public funds) 0191 2260394 Visit: angelou-centre.org.uk

The Halo Project (Honour Based Abuse/Forced Marriage) 01642 683 045 Visit: haloproject.org.uk

Community Counselling Co-operative - Supporting male victims of domestic violence in Northumbria 07549 698 050 or 07549 698 049

How can I keep myself safe?

Tips on keeping yourself safe

A personal safety plan is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children.

It helps you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse.

It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave.

  • Plan in advance how you might respond in different situations, including crisis situations. Think about the different options that may be available to you.
  • Keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers (for example: domestic violence service; the police domestic violence unit; your GP; your social worker, if you have one; your children’s school; your solicitor; and the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247).
  • Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number).
  • Are there neighbours you could trust, and where you could go in an emergency? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack.
  • Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children can get away safely.
  • Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children, and hide it somewhere safe (for example, at a neighbour’s or friend’s house). Try to avoid mutual friends or family.
  • Know where the nearest phone is, and if you have a mobile phone, try to keep it with you and charged at all times.
  • If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house – for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons; and avoid rooms where you might be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
  • Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.

I don't feel safe in my home. What can be done?

Help is available in your area

Local authorities have a legal duty to provide help to certain people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

You will qualify for help if you are eligible for assistance, legally homeless or threatened with homelessness and not intentionally homeless.

You must also be in priority need. The local authority may also investigate whether you have a local connection with the area.

You will normally be considered to be legally homeless if it is not reasonable for you to occupy your home because of the risk or fear of domestic violence.

Local authorities should deal sympathetically with applications from people who are in fear of violence. You can ask for a private interview, with someone of the same sex, and can take a friend with you for support.

The local authority may have a duty to provide emergency accommodation for you while it decides whether you are legally homeless.

If it is outside of normal office hours, you should telephone the local authority's emergency out-of-hours number for help with emergency housing.

Housing in Northumberland

If it is outside of normal office hours, you should telephone the local authority's emergency out-of-hours number for help with emergency housing.

Office and out of hours: 0345 600 6400

Shelter – housing advice. For advice or guidance, call 0344 515 1601 between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Housing in North Tyneside

If it is outside of normal office hours, you should telephone the local authority's emergency out-of-hours number for help with emergency housing.

Office hours: 0191 643 252

Out of hours: 0330 333 7475

Shelter – housing advice. For advice or guidance, call 0344 515 1601 between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Housing in Gateshead

If it is outside of normal office hours, you should telephone the local authority's emergency out-of-hours number for help with emergency housing.

Office hours: 0191 433 3174

Out of hours: 0191 477 0844

Shelter – housing advice. For advice or guidance, call 0344 515 1601 between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Housing in Newcastle

If it is outside of normal office hours, you should telephone the local authority's emergency out-of-hours number for help with emergency housing.

Office hours: 0191 277 1712 or 0191 277 1716

Out of hours: 0191 278 7878 (speak to the operator and ask for the emergency homeless service)

Shelter – housing advice. For advice or guidance, call 0344 515 1601 between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Housing in South Tyneside

If it is outside of normal office hours, you should telephone the local authority's emergency out-of-hours number for help with emergency housing.

Office hours: 0300 123 6633

Out of hours: 0191 4562093

Shelter – housing advice. For advice or guidance, call 0344 515 1601 between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Housing in Sunderland

If it is outside of normal office hours, you should telephone the local authority's emergency out-of-hours number for help with emergency housing.

Office hours: 0800 2346084

Out of hours: 0191 520 555

Shelter – housing advice. For advice or guidance, call 0344 515 1601 between the hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

I know someone who is being abused. What can I do to help?

Follow these steps to support them

Listen to them try to understand and take care not to blame. Tell them that they are not alone and that there are many others like them in the same situation.

Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse. Give them time to talk, but don’t push them to go into too much detail if they don’t want to.

Acknowledge that they are in a frightening and very difficult situation.

Tell them that no one deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what their abuser has told them. Nothing they can do or say can justify the abuser’s behaviour.

Support them as a friend. Encourage them to express their feelings, whatever they are. Allow them to make their own decisions.

Don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they are not ready to do this. This is their decision.

Ask if they have suffered physical harm. If so, offer to go with them to a hospital or to see their GP.

Be ready to provide information on organisations that offer help to abused persons and their children. Explore the available options with them.

Go with them to visit a solicitor if they are ready to take this step.

Plan safe strategies for leaving an abusive relationship.

Let them create their own boundaries of what they think is safe and what is not safe; don’t urge them to follow any strategies that they expresses doubt about.

Offer your friend the use of your address and/or telephone number to leave information and messages, and tell them you will look after an emergency bag if they want this.

Look after yourself while you are supporting someone through such a difficult and emotional time. Ensure that you do not put yourself into a dangerous situation; for example, do not offer to talk to the abuser about your friend or let yourself be seen by the abuser as a threat to their relationship.

Help them get help

Help them to report the incident to the police if they wish to do so.

If they're in immediate danger, you should report this to the police as soon as possible by calling 999.

If there is no incident happening now and you know they are not in any immediate danger, you can contact the police by calling 101.

Or use our online reporting form 

 

I'm an abuser and I want help

If you've abused your partner in the past or currently, support is available

The Respect Phoneline is an anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. They provide specialist advice and guidance to help people change their behaviours and support for those working with domestic abuse perpetrators.

Call: 0808 8024040 or visit: www.respectphoneline.org.uk

It takes strength to admit that you are abusing your partner. If you really want to change, you can.

Violence is learned behaviour. You can unlearn it – but you will only be successful if you can:

  • Accept responsibility for the abuse. You cannot blame your actions on your partner, or on drink, drugs, stress or work
  • Accept that the abuse comes from your desire to control your partner. Understand the ways you control her and why you behave like this
  • Realise that you have a choice. You choose to be violent or abusive, and you can choose not to be
  • Accept that your partner has a right to live her own life without being dominated and controlled
  • Stop using anger, violence, and other abusive behaviours to control your partner
  • Seek help from professionals. Start by talking to your GP, who can refer you to a perpetrator programme

I'm worried my new partner might have a history of domestic violence. How can I find out?

Clare's Law can help

Clare’s Law is a national scheme that ensures people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary.  Absolutely anyone can apply to use Clare’s Law and request information from Northumbria Police.  

The domestic violence disclosure scheme is free and always 100% confidential. So if you’re worried about your own relationship, or someone else’s, ask us to check the record- you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

You can make a domestic violence disclosure request by pressing the button below. 

 

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