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Domestic Violence

 Content Editor

Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone. It is important to be able to recognise the signs and know where to get help and support.

Domestic violence can also be called domestic abuse. It includes physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.

Domestic violence can happen against women and against men, and anybody can be an abuser. Abusive people hardly ever change their behaviour, however much they promise to.  Abuse almost never stops by itself; it just gets worse over time. If you are in a situation where someone is hurting you, even if it's someone you love, it's not your fault and seeking help and advice is the best option.

Signs of domestic violence and abuse

There are different kinds of abuse, but it is always about having power and control over you. 

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be in an abusive relationship.

Emotional abuse

Does your partner ever: 

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
  • accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
  • tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
  • control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things? 
  • doesn't let you make your own decisions?
  • gets angry when you talk to other people?

Threats and intimidation

Does your partner ever:

  • threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy things that belong to you?
  • stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • read your emails, texts or letters?
  • harass or follow you?

Physical abuse

The person abusing you may physically hurt you in a number of ways.

Does your partner ever:

  • slap, hit or punch you?
  • push or shove you? 
  • bite or kick you?
  • burn you? 
  • choke you or hold you down?
  • throw things and scare you? 

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female.

Does your partner ever:

  • touch you in a way you don't want to be touched?
  • make unwanted sexual demands?
  • hurt you during sex?
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
  • pressure you to have sex?

If your partner has sex with you when you don't want to, this is rape. 

  • Have you ever felt afraid of your partner?
  • Have you ever changed your behaviour because you're afraid of what your partner might do?


Financial abuse

Financial abuse refers to the control of another person through money.

Does your partner ever

  • say what you can and can't buy?
  • spend and take your money from you?
  • withhold your money from you?
  • spend their own money to make you feel like you owe them something?
  • force you into illegal activities to make money?

Help and support for Domestic Violence

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, there are lots of people who can help.  You don't have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it's important to tell someone and remember you're not alone. This may be tough and you may need help and support.

If you are in immediate danger call the Police on 999

For more information please visit


Women can call 0808 2000 247, the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge


They are a registered charity that provides support, advice and counselling to men, women and young people of any age affected by any form of sexual violence; over the areas of Cheshire and Merseyside.  They have a specialised counselling service and also the support from an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA).  The ISVA offers support and advice through the police process and any subsequent legal proceedings. 

How to Access the Service: Anyone can be self-refer themselves to RASASC, or referrals can also be made by other agencies (GP, Social Worker etc).

RASASC is located in St Helens, Millennium House, Bickerstaffe Street, St Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1DH

Tel: 01744 877987

For more information please visit:


Cheshire East: 01260 697900

Cheshire West & Chester: 01244 907710

Knowsley: 0151 218 7960

St. Helens: 01744 877987

Warrington: 01925 221546


Domestic violence affects men too.

Respect offers information and advice to people who behave in abusive ways, as well as to those who are victims of abuse. Nothing is so bad you can't talk about it.

For more information please visit

Other services that can help you

National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) provides a fast, free emergency injunction service. 

Tel: 08009702070

Mens Advice Line – Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse.  Tel: 0808 8010 327

Broken Rainbow (Gay and Lesbian Support) Helpline - 0300 999 5428 
Gallop support for hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse.

Tel: 02077042040

Safe Place Merseyside, the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for the Merseyside Area

Tel: 0151 295 3550


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