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Domestic abuse – I’m worried about someone

by Gemma Melling

Understanding what domestic abuse is and how to access support are the two main things you can do to help others.

Someone may confide in you, which will be the first step in supporting them. However, if the person who you are worried about hasn’t confided in you, it may be more difficult to support them, but it’s important that you know how you can support them when the time is right.

What is domestic abuse? 

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviours which take place within an intimate or family relationship, making it difficult for the person experiencing abuse to have control over their own life or leave the relationship. These behaviours can be controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading or violent.

Your friend or family member may be unsure if they are experiencing domestic abuse. If it is safe to do so, you could share types of abuse with them to help them come to terms with what they are experiencing. Try to keep in mind that they might not be ready to accept that their partner or relative is abusive yet.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

How you can support someone experiencing domestic abuse 

It takes a lot of strength to talk about experiencing abuse, especially when many people don’t believe they are a victim.

If they do reach out to you, listen to them and believe them.

Let them express their feelings to you and give them time and space to come to terms with the abuse.

Remember, the perpetrator has taken control from them, so don’t do the same and start to make decisions for them. Direct them to support services who can provided support to meet their needs.

What support is available?

If you, your child, or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, you should contact the police urgently, call 999.

If you are not at immediate risk but are concerned, please contact one of the services listed below:

Knowsley Council Safer Communities Domestic Abuse Service
Tel: 0151 443 2610 (available during office hours)

Email: safercommunities@knowsley.gov.uk

The First Step (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 548 3333
Website: www.thefirststep.org.uk

 Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub
Tel: 0151 443 2600

 Further support is also offered by these national agencies:

victimcaremerseyside.org  (directory of services)
Women’s Aid | womensaid.org.uk | www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Worst Kept Secret Helpline:  0800 028 3398
Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
RASASC – Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre – National phone line 0330 363 0063
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123

 Perpetrator Support

 Knowsley Council Safer Communities Domestic Abuse Service
Tel: 0151 443 2610 (available during office hours)
Email: safercommunities@knowsley.gov.uk