Domestic abuse can be:
- Physical violence
- Emotional abuse like name calling and threats
- Sexual abuse
- Financial control
- Controlling behaviour
Recognising domestic abuse
Domestic abuse affects people of all genders, ages and ethnicities. The definition of domestic abuse also covers abuse between family members, including adolescent to parent violence.
The following webpages offer simple checks to help you consider whether you are part of a health or an abusive relationship.
- GOV.UK: Recognise domestic abuse in a relationship
- West Sussex County Council: The signs of an abusive relationship
- Women's Aid: Am I in an abusive relationship?
Report domestic abuse
Call 999 if you are in immediate danger
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.
If you are unable to talk, follow the advice of the call handler. This could include communicating in coughs or taps, or you may be asked to press 55 if calling from a mobile phone. Find more details on the government website.
Contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for support
If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse, visit the National Domestic Abuse Helpline website or call the 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247 for confidential free support.
Things to do to help keep yourself safe
There are some practical safety steps you can take to reduce the risk of harm if you are in an abusive relationship.
- Speak to a trusted neighbour, friend or family member and arrange a safeword - or perhaps an emoji - that you can text quickly to alert them that you need emergency help
- If you are in a situation where violence is escalating, try to keep yourself close to exits and away from rooms where you are more likely to come to harm. Consider rooms with secure locks that you can lock yourself into to call for help
- The Hollie app features silent safeguarding options, including alerting chosen contacts with a shake of your phone
- If you can, use online and telephone support services, and stay in touch with trusted family members
How to get help
There are a range of services nationally and in Horsham District that support victims of domestic abuse. Visit the following websites for more information:
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline
- Rise UK
- Women's Aid
- Mens Advice Line
- ManKind Initiative
- The Hideout (for children and young people)
- Unseen Modern Slavery Helpline
- OPOKA National Helpline (Polish)
- Karma Nirvana (Force marriage and honour based abuse)
- National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline
- Government guidance
- Worth Specialist Domestic Abuse Service
- Sussex Police
- West Sussex County Council local support
- Safe in Sussex
- My Sister's House Women's Centre (online support only)
- Veritas Justice (Stalking support)
- Rape Crisis Surrey and Sussex
- Survivors Network
Pet fostering services
The following organisations provide a retreat for pets or those going into a refuge until the owner has a safe place to live and they can be reunited.