Breaking the Silence: Support for Domestic Abuse Victims

Posted On 12 June 2024
Breaking the Silence: Support for Domestic Abuse Victims

What support is available to me as a victim of Domestic Abuse? 

Domestic abuse is an umbrella term used to describe different forms of abuse occurring in a domestic setting, either between intimate partners or other family members over the age of 16. Domestic abuse can manifest itself in different forms:

1. Financial abuse 

2. Emotional abuse 

3. Sexual abuse

4. Coercive or controlling behaviour

5. Physical abuse

6. Psychological abuse

Recent statistics gathered from the Crime Survey in England and Wales found that 50,791 support sessions were delivered by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in 2022. The survey also approximated that 1 in 5 adults aged 16 or over experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022, equating to a total of 10.4 million people. These figures highlight the prevalence of domestic abuse in our society. With this in mind, it is important to signpost people towards services available to them if they feel they are a victim of domestic abuse. 

Support can range from a nationwide level, for example using helplines, to localised support from your council or charities providing services to your area. Examples of helplines available are Women’s Aid for female victims in need of support, which is a charity that provides a live chat for those that need it. Additionally, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24-hour, free phone helpline. Most domestic abuse charity websites have a ‘quick exit’ feature, which allows the website user to swiftly exit the website if necessary. 

Although the cycle of abuse can make it feel difficult or daunting for a victim to leave their abuser, support in the process of escaping an abusive relationship or situation is also accessible at a local level. Local charities have a wide range of volunteers working in different sectors to provide support in matters ranging from safe relocation to court support and child-care arrangements. I have experience working as a court support volunteer for a domestic abuse charity, where my roles have ranged from providing emotional support in family and criminal courts to assisting clients in filling out important forms and directing them towards legal advice if necessary. This is just an example of the wide range of services in place for those struggling with domestic abuse. Your local council can also assist in organising living arrangements and putting you in touch with services available to you. 

Living with domestic abuse can make a victim feel as if they are ‘walking on eggshells’, creating an environment of fear and helplessness. Working with clients in this profession has taught me that sometimes all it takes for someone to find confidence to leave an abusive environment is to read a news article or summon the strength to call a helpline. 

 National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Mankind Initiative Helpline (support for male DA victims): 0808 800 1170 

Somerset Council Domestic Abuse support services: 

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