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What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is “any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality”. Behaviours could include:

Psychological: isolation from family and friends, intimidation, degradation, harassment

Physical: pushing, slapping, hitting, punching, biting, strangling, murder

Sexual: indecent assault, rape, unwanted sexual activity

Financial: keeping all the money, not allowing their partner to earn their own money, making their partner beg

Emotional:  name calling, bullying, threats, constant criticism, blaming

Clare’s Law – Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

Clare’s Law enables members of the public to have a “Right to ask” police if their current partner poses a risk to them in terms of their history of domestic abuse. The scheme also enables professionals to raise a “Right to know” request through the police. It applies where they feel someone may be at risk of domestic abuse and they have some reasonable concern or knowledge about the individual’s past. A right to ask can also be made by a third person, for example a parent, relative or friend who is concerned. In these cases, if a disclosure is to be made, it will only be made to the potential victim of abuse.

Help and Support

If you need help to break the cycle of abuse, for yourself or someone else, please call the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 731 0055 for confidential advice and support. If someone is in immediate danger, dial 999.

Bright Sky

If you are in an abusive relationship, or if you’re worried about someone else, The Bright Sky website offers an important resource, including a directory of services to help you find local and national support services.  The site also has advice on how to spot the signs of domestic abuse.

Bright Sky is also available as an app via the App Store or Google Play. Only download the app if it is safe for you to do so and if you’re sure that your phone isn’t being monitored.