It is important to recognise that domestic violence is a widespread problem that cannot be ignored. It is as serious as other forms of violence, harassment or abuse. It is unacceptable and is not to be tolerated, because everyone has the right to live free from violence and abuse in any form.
Domestic violence can be defined as abuse between family members, current or former partners in, or previously in, an intimate relationship, whenever and wherever this occurs. Domestic violence involves abuses of power and controlling behaviours, and may include:
- Physical behaviours such as assault, rape, destruction of property and stalking
- Non-physical behaviours such as destructive criticism, pressure tactics, threats, belittling, breaking trust, isolation, oppressive control of finances and harassment
While it is more common for women to experience domestic violence, men too can be subjected to domestic abuse and anyone who is experiencing, has experienced, or is affected by domestic violence should seek support from the Police, their GP, local networks or national charities.
The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) can also offer support and guidance for anyone affected by domestic violence or abuse where counsellors, legal and financial specialists can:
- Provide sensitive and non-judgmental support
- Ensure that confidentiality is respected
- Understand that the individual may not wish to approach their immediate family, friends or manager at work
- Understand that they may need time to decide what to do and may try many different options
- Discuss measures to prioritise safety
- Be aware of what support is available and explore options for all involved.
There are many charities and not for profit organisations offering support for those experiencing domestic violence, abuse or stalking. A selection of these are detailed below, but there are many other providers who can provide support;
- https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/ – Victim Support gets more than 200,000 cases of domestic violence referred from the police every year.
- https://www.womensaid.org.uk/ – Women’s Aid is the national charity for women and children working to end domestic abuse.
- https://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/mens_advice.php.html – Men’s Advice Line: a confidential helpline for any man experiencing domestic violence and abuse from a partner (or ex-partner).
- https://www.mankind.org.uk/ – The ManKind Initiative is a national charity that provides help and support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.
- https://www.stalkinghelpline.org/ – The National Stalking Helpline has been established by Network for Surviving Stalking, Protection Against Stalking and Suzy Lamplugh Trust. It is the first national helpline to specialise in providing information and guidance to victims of harassment and stalking as well as their friends and family.
- https://respect.uk.net/ – A confidential and anonymous helpline for anyone concerned about their violence and/or abuse towards a partner or ex-partner.
- https://www.endthefear.co.uk/ – Help for men who abuse their partners