Domestic abuse is not acceptable. It can be defined as any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are (or have been) in a relationship, or between family members. This is regardless of gender or sexuality and this definition includes any 'honour'-based violence and female genital mutilation (FGM).
Domestic abuse can be:
- coercive control
- psychological abuse
- economic abuse
- physical or sexual abuse
Domestic abuse can affect anyone and is rarely an isolated event.
Are you a victim of domestic abuse?
If you change your behaviour around a person you are living with because you are scared of how they will react, you are being abused.
If you are:
- not allowed to leave your home
- kept isolated from your family and friends
- pressured or forced to have sex
- not in control of, or allowed access to, your money
- constantly belittled, put down or humiliated in public
you may be a victim of domestic abuse. Please remember that it is never your fault - abuse is a crime.
If you need help because you are suffering - or have suffered - from domestic abuse, please remember that you are not alone. Free and confidential advice is available, day or night.
Home-Start in Suffolk are a charity that support families with children. They have produced guidance about seeking help and have put together a directory of local and nationwide support.
Phone the Suffolk Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 977 5690. This is a freephone number that answers calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Anyone who has been affected by rape or sexual assault can phone The Ferns on 0300 123 5058. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by trained crisis workers or nurses (all of whom are female).
Read the Suffolk Domestic Abuse Services leaflet, which was commissioned by Suffolk County Council and the Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner.
The leaflet includes details about:
- Bury St Edmunds Women's Aid Centre
- Norfolk & Suffolk Victim Care
- Anglia Care Trust (ACT)
Access further information about domestic abuse and sexual violence from Suffolk County Council.
The government have produced an easy read guide called Domestic abuse: how to get help.
Phone The National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300. This is a freephone number that is open 9.30am - 4.30pm on every weekday. On Wednesdays, the helpline is open from 09.30am - 8pm. Visit The Suzy Lamplugh Trust's website for more information.
Women's Aid manage a directory that allows people to find support that's local to them. The services listed update their information regularly, which means that the directory stays up-to-date. Women, women with children and men can all use this directory.
Respect work with male victims of domestic abuse. They also work with perpetrators of domestic abuse - the Respect Phoneline (0808 8024040) is a freephone number that is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 8pm.
Karma Nirvana support victims and survivors of 'honour'-based abuse in the UK. They run the Honour Based Abuse Helpline - the number is 0800 5999 247. This is a freephone number that is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
If you're worried about a child who may be at risk of, or affected by, FGM, the NSPCC run an anonymous helpline dedicated to this issue. Phone 0800 028 3550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FORWARD offer support and other services to African women and girls affected by FGM in the UK.
- Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 10am-5pm
- Wednesday and Thursday: 10am - 8pm
If you are worried that a new, former or existing partner has an abusive past, you can ask the police to check under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. This is also known as Clare's Law, and it is your 'right to ask'.
Read more information about Clare's Law (produced by the Home Office). This information also includes details about alternative support services.
Visit Suffolk Constabulary's website for information about making an application to the police.