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Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is an incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults and 16 - 18 year olds who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Tackling domestic abuse is a priority of Safer New Forest and all reports are taken seriously.

Please consider whether you need to cover your tracks in accessing this information


What are the signs of domestic abuse?

  • Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting/mocking/accusing/name calling/verbally threatening
  • Pressure tactics: sulking, threatening to withhold money, disconnect the telephone, take the car away, threatens to commit suicide, take the children away, report you to welfare agencies unless you comply with his or her demands regarding bringing up the children, lying to your friends and family about you, telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.
  • Disrespect: persistently putting you down in front of other people, not listening or responding when you talk, interrupting your telephone calls, taking money from your purse without asking, refusing to help with childcare or housework.
  • Breaking trust: lying to you, withholding information from you, being jealous, having other relationships, breaking promises and shared agreements.
  • Isolation: monitoring or blocking your telephone calls, telling you where you can and cannot go, preventing you from seeing friends and relatives.
  • Harassment: following you, checking up on you, opening your mail, repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you, embarrassing you in public.
  • Threats: making angry gestures, using physical size to intimidate, shouting you down, destroying your possessions, breaking things, punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatening to kill you and children/family members
  • Sexual violence: using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don't want to have sex, any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation.
  • Physical violence: punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling.
  • Denial: saying the abuse doesn't happen, saying you caused the abusive behaviour, being publicly gentle and patient, crying and begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again.


Where can I get help?

For a long time domestic abuse has been a crime that has been hidden away. If you or anybody you know is suffering from domestic abuse, and are looking for help, there are many links on this page to agencies, authorities and voluntary sector organisations that are there to help.

Click here for information from Hampshire Police.

Click here for the Women's Aid Charity. The film clip with Keira Knightley portraying domestic abuse can be accessed here

Victim Support can be accessed here

Hampshire victims of domestic abuse can find information on the services available to help them on

Agencies, authority and voluntary sector workers looking for information on domestic abuse services and best practice guidelines can find it here

Another organisation that provides free help in seeking civil orders to protect victims of domestic abuse is the National Centre for Domestic Violence. Their website can be accessed at You can also contact them by phoning 0844 8044 999 or by texting NCDV to 60777; they will then phone you. is a website specifically for men experiencing domestic abuse

Keeping Safer

In an emergency, if you are being attacked or abused

  • Call 999 immediately to alert police.
  • Stay away from the kitchen.
  • Get to a room with a door or window so that you can escape.
  • Call for help.
  • Get out of the house.

Have a safety plan

  • Carry a list of phone numbers of people and organisations who can help you.
  • Carry a mobile phone or make sure you know where you can make phone calls from in safety.
  • Try to save up and carry some money with you so that you can use telephones, public transport or taxis.
  • Have your own set of keys for your house or car.
  • Keep these and your money in a safe place so that you can get to it quickly if you need to leave in a hurry.
  • Plan in advance where you would go and what you would need to take if you had to leave (this includes things like birth certificates, school and medical records, money, driving documents, cheque book, passport, clothing and children's toys).
  • Make sure these are in a safe place where you can get to them quickly.
  • Contact support organisations for advice about where to go.
  • If you are planning to leave, it is best to avoid confrontation so leave when your partner is not there.

If you live alone or not with the person who is abusing you

  • Change the locks and install window locks.
  • Get advice from your local police.
  • Use an answering machine to screen your calls.
  • Have an ex-directory number.
  • Inform neighbours of the situation so that they can contact the police if they see or hear anything unusual.

Other steps you can take

  • Inform someone you trust at work about your situation.
  • Plan differing routes home from work and avoid routines.
  • Make sure no one passes on your new details if you have had to move or change phone number.


Talk about It

  • Children do not have to see violence to be affected by it. They hear it and sense it, and can be frightened and saddened by it. Talk to your children and tell them it's not their fault. There are organisations which specifically help children who need to talk about things that are upsetting them.
  • Talk to your friends, relatives, doctor or nurse about how you are feeling.

Useful Documents
No recourse to public funds guidance
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Page last updated on 15 April 2014
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