Domestic abuse includes all kinds of physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, within all types of relationships. The most common abuse is carried out by men against a female partner. However abuse can also be carried out by women against men; within same sex relationships and by close family members. People experience domestic abuse regardless of their social group, class, age, race, disability, sexuality or lifestyle. Abuse can begin during a current relationship or at any time after a relationship has ceased.
Domestic abuse is a serious problem. It can affect anyone and has a detrimental effect upon other family members such as children. It accounts for a quarter of violent crime and costs lives each year. It is rarely a one-off event and victims often suffer in silence before seeking help.
Our commitment to you
We believe that domestic abuse is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
If you report domestic abuse to us, we will:
- Treat your report seriously, sensitively and with respect for your confidentiality
- Respond quickly, listen to what has happened and advise you on some practical options for dealing with the problem
- Be non-judgemental and listen to how you want the problem to be resolved
- Treat your and other members of your family’s safety as a priority
- Exercise our duty of care to protect children who may be suffering abuse
- Where appropriate, offer to liaise with other agencies, or put you in touch with them, to help resolve matters
- Keep you informed of what we are doing to help you
- Take action against the perpetrator, for breach of tenancy or lease conditions, where appropriate and agreed with you
To prevent your situation escalating to a point where you are in danger, the most important thing you can do is tell someone you trust. You may quite easily and quickly decide to ask for help. Or, you may find the process long and painful as you try to make the relationship work. Most people try to find help a number of times before getting what they need. Even after leaving the relationship, there may still be a risk.
The point of separation is sometimes the most traumatic and dangerous time. Never be afraid to ask for help and remember, in an emergency, always call the police by dialling 999 (minicom 0800 112 999).
Police officers have the power to intervene if they have good reason for believing that action is needed to prevent the offender from physically injuring you or your child.
Most police forces now have either a specialist domestic violence unit or domestic abuse Coordinators who are experienced in dealing with these cases.
If you wish to report domestic abuse you can contact us 24 hours a day.
Each case is different; however, our aim is to support you to regain control of your life.
There are a range of things we can do to help. For example we can:
- Offer advice about your housing options
- Signpost you to specialist agencies who deal with domestic abuse and can provide a wider range of advice
- Help you obtain independent legal advice or assistance, for instance to obtain an injunction to stop the abuse
- Help to provide additional protection where you live e.g. improved security or personal alarms
- Carry out repairs to your home • Access any necessary support such as a translating service or counselling
- Help you find temporary accommodation if this is needed e.g. a women’s aid refuge
- Help you find a permanent home if you cannot return to where you live
- Take action against the perpetrator for a breach of tenancy where appropriate
- Help you find another home, either with Johnnie Johnson Housing or another landlord.
If you need to leave your home
If you need to leave your home, there are some useful things to remember:
- Have some money saved in case you need to use a taxi or bus
- If you don’t have a mobile, find somewhere you can quickly and safely use the phone should you need to
- Take important documents such as your marriage and birth certificate, any court orders, passport, benefit and bank books, and health records
- Have a small bag already packed with an extra set of keys for the house and car should you need to leave in an emergency
- If you choose to leave, try to take your children with you
- Take essential medicines that you and your children may need
- Leave when it is safe to do so
- If you later discover that you have left something essential behind, you can always arrange for a police escort so that you can return for it
If you are in immediate danger - call the police by dialling 999. Domestic abuse is a crime, which the police treat seriously.
Do not terminate your tenancy before you have taken advice.