In an emergency you should always dial 999.
If your situation is not an emergency you may wish to contact your local domestic abuse police unit
who will talk to you in confidence.
On this page you will find information and advice for both victims and perpetrators of abuse. Support is available if you are:
There is support available if you:
There is also further information if you:
If you are a woman who is being abused, Women’s Aid
can provide emergency accommodation for you and your children. They offer refuges, which provide emergency and temporary accommodation and support.
Many Women’s Aid also operate drop in centres for counselling and emotional support, as well as legal, housing and benefits advice. The following are contact details for these centres in Essex:
The national domestic violence helpline
keeps an up to date list of all refuge accommodation across the county. They and can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. If they have space, any refuge across the UK may accept a woman fleeing domestic abuse.
If someone in your family is abusive, remember that it is not your fault and you are not alone. It is important that you tell somebody that this is happening. Domestic abuse happens in many families and there are people that can help you and your family.
If someone you know is in serious danger, you should dial 999 straight away and ask for the police. Otherwise, the following is a list of groups who will be able to help you:
- for help, advice and support about anything that is worrying you. Call: 0800 1111 (24-hour freephone)
– for help, advice and support, call: 0800 800 5000 (24 hour freephone).
- a website for children and young people living with domestic abuse.
- For older children and young adults (16-25 years old), Get Connected offers free, confidential advice on 0808 808 4994 (everyday 1-11pm, freephone).
This is abuse
- a website with information about teenage relationship abuse.
- a charity which helps to improve the emotional and mental health of young people. Call freephone 0808 802 5544 for confidential support Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Wed 6pm-8pm.
For men experiencing violence and abuse from their partners or ex-partners. The Men’s Advice Line
is a confidential helpline. You can contact them on 0808 801 0327 (freephone). Lines are open Monday-Friday 10am-1pm and 2-5pm.
There are a number of local and national organisations who can offer support to LGBT victims of domestic abuse, including:
- Broken Rainbow - provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic abuse, You can call them on 0300 999 5428.
In the event of an emergency, you should call the police immediately on 999.
Domestic Abuse Liaison Officers are also available to talk to you in confidence. You can contact your local domestic abuse and safeguarding teams (DAST) by using the following extensions:
- DAST North - dial 101 and ext. 430375
- DAST South - dial 101 01268 244045
- DAST West - dial 101 and ext. 320601
Perpetrators of domestic abuse
If you know someone who you think may be abusing their partner or family member, or if you are worried about your own behaviour, you can choose to stop, and there are agencies who can support you.
Anger management programmes are never appropriate for someone who is a domestic abuser. People perpetrate abuse in order to get what they want and to gain control.
Couple counselling is never safe for a couple in which one partner is abusing the other as it can be dangerous to force the victim to talk about the relationship in front of the abuser.
Respect is a registered charity and national membership organisation promoting best practice for domestic abuse perpetrator programmes and associated support services in the UK. It provides a helpline for men who commit domestic abuse, and for people concerned for someone they know who they think is abusive.
Essex change - a community based domestic abuse intervention project which is run in association with women's and children's services.
For help with drug and alcohol abuse, see the section above.
Pregnancy is a time when domestic abuse can start and it can be a risky time, with potential danger to both mother and child. If abusive behaviour is already present in a relationship, then pregnancy can be a time when it gets worse. If you are pregnant and you are concerned about domestic abuse, talk in confidence to your midwife.
Domestic abuse can often have negative effects on the physical and emotional health of victims and their families. In particular pregnant women are often especially vulnerable to domestic abuse. If a victim requires medical attention, then they should call 999 immediately for an ambulance.
You can also seek medical attention from your GP or Hospital Accident and Emergency department.
Whether someone has recently been assaulted, or the abuse happened a long time ago, the following organisations can help:
Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse (CARA)
- a confidential and non judgemental support service for women and young people who have been raped, sexually abused or assaulted, either recently or in the past and could involve a stranger, friend or family member. You can speak to someone on 01206 769795, or leave a message on the 24 hour answerphone.
Perpetrators of domestic abuse often use drink or drugs as an excuse for their behaviour. The causes of domestic abuse are far more deep routed than simply being an effect of intoxication. Drug and alcohol misuse may intensify existing abuse; however it does not cause it. Those experiencing domestic abuse may also turn to alcohol or drugs as a form of escape from the abuse.
If you are concerned about this, the following Substance Misuse Services can help
- Choices, provided by Open Road – 0844 499 1323
An abusive relationship will affect you both physically and emotionally. You may feel tired and run down or depressed and unable to cope. You may feel ashamed of what is happening to you. Your GP, Practice Nurse or Health Visitor will listen to you and support you.
- the national association for mental health has a helpline that provides advice and support to people who are concerned about their mental health. 0845 7660163 (local call charge rate Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
- for anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s mental health, 08457 678 000 (6-11pm everyday, local call charge rate)
If you are looking for information about the legal options which are available to you, there are a number of groups who can help you.
The National Centre for Domestic Violence
specialises in helping victims of domestic abuse to obtain non molestation orders and injunctions, to protect them from further abuse. The free service is available to everybody. 0844 8044 999 (24 hour, local call charge rate) Text: NCDV 60777. For the deaf and hard of hearing they offer a Minicom and typetalk service on 18001 08009 702070
Rights of Women
offer a legal helpline, run by female solicitors and barristers, for women needing legal advice about domestic abuse or any other matter. 020 7251 6577 (Tue, Wed, Thurs 2-4pm and 7-9pm and Fri 12-2pm)
Going to court
If you report domestic abuse to the Police, they may give your details to the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service.
It offers support and information and will work with someone throughout a court case. This could include arranging a pre court visit and being present with the victim when they appear in court as a witness.
The Victim Support Witness Service
The Witness Service can give you:
- Someone to talk to confidentially, about how you're feeling before a trial
- Information about what to expect in court, including a chance to see the court beforehand and learn about court procedures
- A quiet place to wait before you are called to give evidence
Someone to go with you into the courtroom if you want, to help you feel more at ease
- Practical help (for example with claiming your expenses)
Easier access to people, such as court staff, who can answer specific questions about the case
- The chance to talk over your case when it has ended and to get more help or information
Like the rest of Victim Support, the Witness Service is free and independent of the police or courts. To get help now, contact your local Witness Service
0845 456 5995
If you are not a permanent UK resident, the agencies and specialist domestic abuse organisations listed below can help you:
Helps refugees and asylum seekers via their advice line.
Call: 01426 297 900 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10am-1pm and 2-4pm)
A charity providing representation and advice in immigration and asylum law.
Call: 020 7357 6917
Joint Council for the Welfare of immigrants
Gives advice on immigration, asylum and nationality.
Call: 020 7251 8709
National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
Is a government agency which coordinates housing and financial support for asylum seekers.
Call 0845 602 1739
If you are concerned about domestic abuse and immigration, Women’s Aid have a Survivor’s Handbook
, which you may find useful.
Many abusers use money to gain control. This may mean that they take control of money and benefits and do not allow their partner or family to have any money. They may create debts in the victim’s name or force them to take out loans or credit cards.
If you are thinking about leaving, you will need to think about money and talk through with any support service what you need to do. For example, you could make sure that benefits for your family are in your name, set up your own bank account and protect your money in an existing account or joint account.
If you decide or have to leave your home, or you want to try and stay but without an abusive partner, there are several options which are available to you. Women’s Aid
offer emergency accommodation, advocacy and support to women who want to escape from abuse. You can also talk to a housing advice officer at your local district or Borough council
regarding this. If you own your home you may wish to speak to a solicitor.
If the abuser has left and you wish to remain in your home, but are fearful because of security and safety issues, a local Sanctuary Scheme may operate in your area. They provide additional security measures and support to victims of domestic abuse. Enquires should be made to your local district or Borough Council (Who you pay your council tax to).
also provide free housing advice helpline call 0808 800 4444 (freephone)
An independent national charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else who is affected.
Call: 0845 45 65 995 (Monday-Friday from 8am - 8pm, with a confidential answer phone outside these hours).