What is domestic abuse?
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.”
The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
- psychological and emotional abuse
- physical and sexual abuse
- control and coercion
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, no matter what gender or sexuality.
What can I do if someone I know is experiencing abuse?
It is not easy to know how to support a friend or someone you love who is suffering domestic abuse. But you can make a difference and you may be their only lifeline.
The first thing you may want to do is to protect that person. However, this could be dangerous. The ‘Friends and Family’ guide tells you about ways you can do it safely and has detailed advice on the things you can do which can provide emotional and practical support to that person.
The guide also provides information about the ways the situation may impact on you and what you can do to help support your own wellbeing whilst providing help to a friend, relative, neighbour or colleague.
Reporting domestic abuse
If you think you might need to seek professional advice to help you better assist your friend or family member, it is better to let them know that you might do this. Reassure them that you can discuss the situation with the professional organisation without revealing their name or any identifying details.
The local Somerset service is called Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service and can be contacted on 0800 69 49 999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need general advice on what to say to your friend/family member, Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service can help advise you.
Contact the police directly on 101 to talk to them about your concerns. If someone is in immediate danger always call 999.
Domestic Abuse: Friends and Family Help Guide