Domestic violence support

 

If you've experienced domestic violence, even once, then you need help and support. On the Mumsnet Talk boards, the advice from women who've been through it is clear: don't delay. Domestic violence tends to escalate, not end, so here's what you need to know about getting help.

"There are lots of us on Mumsnet who have escaped abusive relationships. Please know that you can get out and survive and be happy." motherhurdicure 

Women who are being abused often feel they have no options. But there ARE options. They include:

  • Leaving your home temporarily (going to stay with your parents, friends, or in a refuge)
  • Staying in your present home and getting your partner to move out
  • Leaving your home permanently
  • Taking legal action
     
"The police have dedicated domestic violence officers, and they are much better at this sort of thing than most people expect them to be. Do call them - you won't regret it once you're out of there!" Greensleeves

Getting emergency help

In extreme circumstances, of course, you can call the police on 999. Whatever stage the abuse is at, you need to talk to someone about your personal circumstances and your possible courses of action.

Emergency SMS enables you to contact the emergency services in silence if necessary. You can register for the service here.

You can get advice and help from:


Safe places to stay

Women's aid refuges are safe houses run by and for women experiencing domestic violence. They provide a safe place for women and their children to stay to allow some space to think and decide on your next move.

Refuges are all different, but (with your children) you'll always be given your own room. Some have self-contained flats, but most have shared kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms.

Refuge staff are very experienced in helping women to decide what to do next - they can give you advice on benefit claims and solicitors.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline (details above) will be able to tell you about refuges in your area. If you need somewhere to go in an emergency, the closest refuge to you might of course be full, but the helpline staff will find you somewhere.

Another option is to contact your local authority, who have a duty to house you if you're homeless - and you are legally deemed to be homeless if it's not reasonable for you to occupy your home because of fears over domestic violence.

Whatever you decide to do, don't compound the domestic violence by beating yourself up - it's not your fault and you don't deserve it. As Mumsnetter Reallytired says: "Violent relationships happen to women of all levels of intelligence, social class and all walks of life."

The Mumsnet Relationships Talk board is available 24/7 with suggestions, support and bolstering.

Last updated: 16-Jun-2014 at 5:15 PM