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Domestic abuse – your questions answered

by Guy Murphy

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. It’s important that you know what the signs are and where to seek help and support. You are not alone.

Domestic abuse has many forms and includes controlling, coercive (behaviour such as threats, humiliation and intimidation), threatening or violent behaviour by a partner, ex-partner, family member or carer.

Is domestic abuse a one-off?

Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident. It is often part of abusive and controlling behaviours that can become more frequent and escalate over time.

Is domestic abuse a private matter between couples?

No – it is against the law and affects everyone. We all have a responsibility to speak out about it.

Are most domestic abuse incidents caused by alcohol and drug use?

No – many people who have alcohol issues are not abusive to their partners. Many perpetrators are not substance users.

Does domestic abuse just affect women?

No – domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Both men and women can be victims and perpetrators.

Is it my fault?

No-one deserves to be abused, whether that’s physical, emotional or verbal. Asking for food, money, making a phone call, going out with a friend or not being home on time shouldn’t be seen or perceived as provoking someone.

Is domestic abuse the same thing as having anger problems?

People get angry all of the time, but not everyone choose to become abusive. Anger doesn’t cause abuse. Domestic Abuse  is a conscious choice made by the perpetrator.

If things are that bad, why don’t they leave?

People stay in an abusive relationship for many reasons – ranging from love to fear. There are practical reasons why people don’t leave, for example being afraid of being found, worried about losing their home, financial implications/control  possessions and even their children. It’s important to know that you are not alone, and help and support is available.

Where can I get help and support?

In an emergency, dial 999. If you are unable to speak, cough, tap the handset or press 55 and the operator will put you through to the police.

Knowsley Council Safer Communities Service (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 443 2610


The First Step (Independent 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 | https://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.

Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123.

RASASC – Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre  – National phone line 0330 363 0063 & Knowsley phone line Knowsley 0151 218 7960