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Two parents arguing while a child holds their hands to their ears

Surviving Domestic Abuse – Sally’s story

by Guy Murphy

Did you know that there are specialist teams within Knowsley who work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse to keep them safe from harm and move on with their lives?

Knowsley’s specialist teams worked with people who have many difference experiences of domestic abuse. And whilst there are some common behaviours and ‘signs’ of domestic abuse, each case is different and requires a bespoke response each time.

Domestic abuse can even be carried out by an ex-partner and that is what happened to Sally whose story we share below.  As part of the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence, we’re sharing anonymous stories from people who have been supported by our teams. The case studies show the impact of domestic abuse and the bravery of the victim/survivors they work with.

Sally’s story

Sally was referred into the Safer Communities Service for the first time in January 2023. The referral was received from Police due to them receiving a report from both Sally and the perpetrator (ex-partner) regarding concerns for their two children.

Both parents had contacted Police and made counter allegations regarding emotional abuse being experienced by the children. Sally disclosed to Police that she had experienced domestic abuse and coercive control throughout her eight-year relationship.

The Safer Communities Service contacted Sally and support was accepted with a home visit being agreed within 48 hours. During the home visit, Sally disclosed abuse whilst in the relationship which included elements of isolation, jealousy, verbal abuse, coercion, and violence, as well as post-separation abuse since their relationship had ended and described how the perpetrator had utilised informal child arrangements to continue the abuse.

Sally’s ex-partner had also been subjecting the children to negative remarks about their mother and her new partner.  Throughout the course of the intervention, Sally’s appointed Safer Communities Service Advocate was in regular contact with her and advocated on her behalf at legal meetings and with the children’s school.

Sally was supported in seeking legal advice with a view to obtaining a Non-Molestation Order and Prohibitive Steps Order and completed a referral to allocate a Children’s Domestic Abuse Worker from Family First for her children.

During this period, Sally’s ex-partner continued to make allegations against the client and her new partner. Throughout this period, Sally was provided with support and information from her advocate regarding both criminal and civil processes and was further supported in contacting the Police regarding her ex-partners behaviour.

Sally and her children continue to be supported by a range of services.

Where can I turn for help?

If you, your child, or anyone in the family are 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 Service (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 443 2610


Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub

Tel: 0151 443 2600

The First Step (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)

Tel: 0151 548 3333

Website: www.thefirststep.org.uk

Savera UK

Helpline 0800 107 0726


Worst Kept Secret Helpline: 0800 028 3398

Refuge (includes information for men) 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