domestic abuse

Support for you or someone you are worried about

Domestic violence or abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members. Domestic violence can happen against anyone, and anybody can be an abuser.

I want to know more about domestic abuse

How do I know if I am a victim of domestic abuse?

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

Domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common.

Everyone has arguments, and everyone disagrees with their partners, family members and others close to them from time to time. And we all do things at times that we regret, and which cause unhappiness to those we care about. But if this begins to form a consistent pattern, then it is an indication of domestic violence and abuse.

  • Have you ever felt afraid of your partner or former partner?
  • Have you ever changed your behaviour because you’re afraid of what your partner, or former partner, might do?

Emotional abuse

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
  • 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?

Threats and intimidation

Does your partner, or former 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, or former 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, whether they’re male or female.

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • touch you in a way you don’t 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?

If your partner, or former partner, has sex with you when you don’t want to, this is rape.

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, there is help available.



Coercive control 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.

This controlling behaviour makes a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour.

How do you know if this is happening to you?

Some common examples of coercive behaviour are:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food
  • Monitoring your time
  • Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware
  • Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep
  • Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services
  • Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless
  • Humiliating or degrading you
  • Controlling your finances
  • Making threats or intimidating you



Financial abuse is an aspect of ‘coercive control’ – a pattern of controlling, threatening and degrading behaviours that restricts someones freedom.

It’s important to understand that financial abuse doesn’t usually happen in isolation. In most cases abusers use other behaviours to threaten and reinforce the financial abuse.

Financial abuse can leave someone with no money for basic living essentials such as food and clothing. It can even leave them without access to their own bank accounts, with no access to any independent income and with debts that have been built up by abusive partners set against their names. Even when a survivor has left the home, financial control can still be exerted by the abuser for example through child maintenance.

Financial manipulation can deprive women of the material means needed for independence, resistance and escape.

  • It’s a barrier to leaving: Lack of access to money is a reason why many women feel that they have no choice but to stay with an abusive partner for longer and experiencing greater danger, injuries and even death as a result.
  • A barrier to an independent life: Financial abuse doesn’t rely on being in the home, so can continue after separation. Women are often left in debt and the lack of financial security impacts on their ability to rebuild their lives after leaving.



Stalking is when a person becomes fixated or obsessed with another person.

Stalking is a persistent pattern of unwanted attention from someone that makes you feel pestered, scared, anxious or harassed. Some examples of stalking are:

  • Regularly giving you unwanted gifts
  • Making unwanted communication with you
  • Damage to your property
  • Repeatedly following you or spying on you
  • Threatening you

Some of the behaviours may seem like small acts, but together they make up a consistent pattern of behaviour that is frightening and upsetting. Stalking is a criminal offence, if you report it to the police they will take it seriously.  



Talking to children about what’s going on can help them to feel less powerless, confused and angry. Below is some advice to help you.

Do talk to your children – and listen to them. Most children will welcome the opportunity to acknowledge the abuse and to talk about what they are feeling.

Try to be honest about the situation ­– without frightening them, in an age appropriate manner. Reassure them that the abuse is not their fault and that they are not responsible for the adult behaviours they are experiencing.

Explain to them that abuse is wrong and that it does not solve problems. Remember, your children will naturally trust you – try not to break that trust by directly lying to them.

Encourage your children to talk about their hopes and feelings. You could do this perhaps by doing an activity together, or encouraging them to draw or write about what is happening and how they feel about it. Your child’s teacher may be able to help you with this. It is normal for children to wait until they feel safe and are no longer in the violent environment before they start to talk about their feelings.

Teach them how to get emergency help. Show them how to dial 999 but make sure they are aware that they are not responsible for protecting you if you are being attacked.

Praise them.  Help to boost their self-esteem by regularly giving them praise, attention and affection.

Ask for help. Demonstrate that asking for help is a good thing – do it yourself so your children can see there is nothing to be ashamed of. You may believe it is best for your children if you try to keep the family together in order to provide the security of a home. However, children will feel more secure and will be safer living with one parent in a stable environment than with two parents when the environment is unstable and abusive.



If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set.

Call 999 from a mobile

If prompted, press 55 and this will transfer your call to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

Call 999 from a landline

If only background noise can be heard and operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

If you are deaf or can’t verbally communicate

You can register with the emergencySMS service. Text REGISTER to 999. You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in danger.



I am concerned about someone else

I’m concerned about someone I know who might be in an abusive relationship

There are some basic steps that you can take to help you give support to a friend, family member, colleague, neighbour or anyone you know who confides in you about domestic abuse.

If you are worried someone is being abused or is abusing, let them know you’ve noticed something is wrong.

It is important to show how concerned you are and tell them that you are worried about them.

  • listen, and take care not to blame them
  • acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse
  • give them time to talk, but don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to
  • acknowledge they’re in a frightening and difficult situation
  • tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the abuser has said
  • support them as a friend – encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions
  • don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they’re not ready – that is their decision to make
  • ask if they have suffered physical harm – if so, offer to go with them to a hospital or GP
  • help them report the assault to the police if they choose to
  • be ready to provide information on organisations that offer help for people experiencing domestic abuse. Explore the options together.
  • Make arrangements for them to see a solicitor and ask if it is ok for you to go with them, if they feel they are ready to take this step.
  • Help them create a safe plan for leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Let them create their own boundaries of what they think is safe and what is not safe; it is important that you don’t encourage them to follow any plans that they have doubts 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 for them, if they want this.



Looking after yourself while you are supporting someone through such a difficult and emotional time is hugely important. 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.



If you are with someone or you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

If you feel you are also in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set.

Call 999 from a mobile

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

Call 999 from a landline

If only background noise can be heard and operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

If you are deaf or can’t verbally communicate

You can register with the emergencySMS service. Text REGISTER to 999. You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in danger.



Local support services in Rotherham

01709 519212
info@apnahaq.org.uk

The Spectrum, Coke Hill, Rotherham, S60 2HX

Apna Haq exists to support black and minority ethnic (BME) women and girls in Rotherham, South Yorkshire who are experiencing any form of violence.

01709 835482
info@rothacs.org.uk

Rotherham Abuse Counselling Service
38 Moorgate Road, Rotherham, S60 2AG

Provides FREE specialist counselling for women, men and young people who have experienced abuse at any time in their life. People can refer themselves to the service, and can be referred from other agencies.

  • 1:1 sessions
  • Group therapy
  • Drop in sessions
  • Advice

Accommodation service: 0870 850 2247
All other services: 0844 225 4411
24hr national domestic violence helpline: 0808 2000247
enquiries@rothwr.co.uk

PO Box 769, Rotherham, S60 9JJ

Provide a range of support services for women and children who have been affected by domestic violence and abuse, including:

  • Safe temporary accommodation
  • Outreach support
  • One to one support
  • Group work
  • Advocacy
  • Learning opportunities
  • Emotional and practical support
  • Peer support
  • Drop in service
  • Specialist support for children and young people
  • Access to services

Confidential advice line: 0330 202 0571
Accommodation services: 0870 850 2247
enquiries@rotherhamrise.org.uk

18 High Street, Rotherham, S60 1PP
Rotherham Rise, PO Box 769, Rotherham, S60 9JJ

Providing help and support for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual exploitation. Hygge café in Rotherham Town Centre.

  • Refuge accommodation for women and their children
  • Outreach support
  • Specialist BME support
  • Group work
  • Learning opportunities
  • Specialist support for children and young people
  • Counselling

Tel: 116 123 – free from any phone
Tel: 0330 094 5717 – local call charges apply
Jo@samaritans.org

22 Percy Street, Rotherham, S65 1ED
Monday: 11:30am–9pm
Tuesday: 3pm–9pm
Wednesday: 11:30am–3pm
Thursday: 3pm–9pm
Sunday: 5pm–9pm

Provides support for those in distress or struggling to cope. Available 24 hours 7 days a week.

101
In an emergency, call 999

You can report domestic abuse to the South Yorkshire Police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency, or tell a family member, friend or neighbour. Many abusers rely on silence so they can continue the abuse.

If you are worried about a loved one or someone you know, report it to us. We will listen. SY Police take all reports of domestic abuse very seriously. We are committed to protecting the lives of both adult and child victims of domestic abuse, to investigate all reports effectively, to bring offenders to justice and hold them accountable for their actions.

Hygge café
18A, High Street, Rotherham, S60 1PP

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays: 8.30am till 6.30pm
Sundays: CLOSED

Regular events promoted on Facebook

Hygge is part of the charity Rotherham Rise, providing support to women, men and children affected by domestic abuse and child exploitation. Run by Rotherham Rise, providing a space where families and communities can come together.

01142 567 270
inspiretochange@probation.sodexogov.co.uk

Unit 5, Amberley Court, 103 Effingham Street, Rotherham, S65 1BL

Inspire to Change has been designed to help participants learn new skills and find ways to manage and control their abusive behaviour. It encourages participants to think and behave more positively to prevent harm to their partner, children and family in the future. Inspire to Change can also provide support and advice to help address wider issues linked to abusive behaviour such as addiction problems, debt and unemployment.

National support organisations

helpline@womensaid.org.uk

Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. The Survivor’s Handbook is a resource for people experiencing domestic violence. The handbook comprises short sections covering every aspect of seeking help and support, and includes information on how to help a friend who is experiencing domestic violence and safety planning.

  • Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
  • Online support
  • Refuge accommodation
  • Outreach services
  • Aftercare and resettlement
  • Rail To Refuge Scheme – free train travel to women fleeing domestic abuse

0808 2000 247

Refuge’s specialist services include refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach projects, culturally specific services and the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline.

01823 334244 (weekdays 10am–4pm)

Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence. Services include:

  • Simply someone to talk to
  • Giving you confidence
  • Helping you to realise you are not blame
  • How to report incidents
  • Planning an escape
  • Police procedures
  • Housing and refuge support
  • Local councils and other local support services
  • Legal services (including solicitors who will help)

0808 801 0327
info@mensadviceline.org.uk
Web chat available

Monday: 9am–8pm
Tuesday: 9am– 5pm
Wednesday: 9am–8pm
Thursday: 9am–5pm
Friday: 9am–5pm

Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for male victims of domestic abuse. They offer advice and emotional support to men who experience abuse, and signpost to other vital services that help men keep themselves (and their children) safe.

0808 800 5000
help@nspcc.org.uk

The NSPCC works to protect children today and prevent abuse from happening tomorrow. If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, contact our helpline to speak to one of our counsellors.

0800 1111
or contact Childline online

A free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, we’re here for you online, on the phone, anytime. Childline can be contacted 24/7.

0800 999 5428
help@galop.org.uk

Galop is the UK’s only specialist LGBT+ anti-violence charity who provide advice, support and advocacy to people who have experienced hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Galop is an independent organisation, services are confidential and free.

0808 802 4040
info@respectphoneline.org.uk

Respect Phoneline is a team of friendly Advisors who will listen to you without judgment and offer you honest advice to help you stop using violent and abusive behaviours.

SignHealth provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL).

Telephone: 020 3947 2601

Text/WhatsApp/Facetime: 07970 350366

Email: da@signhealth.org.uk

Support apps

Bright Sky is a free to download mobile app, launched in partnership with the Vodafone Foundation, providing support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

       

With Rotherham Health app you can assess your symptoms, book and manage your appointments, view your medical record and test results, manage your medication and much more, 24/7.

       

Rotherhive is not responsible for content on websites or apps mentioned on the site. Always read the app’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy to see how your data may be used.

RotherHive is developed by NHS Rotherham CCG

© Copyright NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group 2020