Domestic abuse includes any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. The abuse can be psychological, physical, social, financial, or emotional.
Domestic abuse can happen between two people who are or were intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality.
If you are in fear of a partner, ex-partner or member of your family, you might be experiencing domestic abuse.
Do they often...
• Call you names and make you feel bad about yourself?
• Make you afraid by threatening you or your children?
• Behave violently towards you?
• Stop you seeing your friends or family?
• Keep you without money?
• Harm you or make you feel you could be seriously harmed?
If the answer to some of these questions is yes you might be experiencing domestic abuse.
You can contact the Suffolk Domestic Abuse hotline on 0800 977 5690. The service is available to men and women over 16 years of age. They offer a wide range of services, advice and information. Ipswich Lighthouse Women’s Aid hotline 01473 228 270 also offers advice and assistance.
You can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 if you're a woman experiencing domestic abuse. You can talk confidentially to someone about your situation and to find out what your options are.
If you are a man experiencing domestic abuse you can contact the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.
If you are in a same-sex relationship you can call the National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 999 5428.
Call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 if you feel in despair and want someone to listen to you and provide emotional support.
Call the police on 999 if:
• Your personal safety is threatened
• You are at risk of assault or injury
• In an emergency
You can apply to our housing options team as a homeless person if you can't stay in your home.
The council has to give you advice about finding somewhere to live. Some people are entitled to emergency accommodation.
If the council has a duty to find you somewhere to live you will be asked to provide details of your situation. You may be asked for supporting evidence, which could include details and dates of incidents.
Don't make a decision to give up your home permanently until you have spoken to an adviser and considered all your options.
Women experiencing domestic abuse may be able to stay in a women's refuge.
Some refuges are specifically for women from certain backgrounds, such as Irish or Asian women.
Staff at refuges can give you advice about your situation.
Contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for more information about refuges.
If you are man who has to leave home because of domestic abuse, you can make a homeless application to the council.
There is limited specialist housing for men experiencing domestic abuse.
If you or someone else in your family is being hurt at home, you may not be sure what you can do about it. Domestic abuse is not your fault and you won't get into trouble for telling someone about it.
The first thing is to tell someone else about what is happening to you. You can tell a teacher, a neighbour, a friend or a friend's parent.
You can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free. They won't tell anyone else you are calling unless you are in immediate danger. They can tell you about places where you can get help.
Find out more from The Hideout about children and young people and domestic abuse and violence.