Planning to Stay?

You don't have to leave your home, there are options available to you.

 Information for Parents

Domestic abuse affects children and young people. Even if the abuse is not targeted at them, they do hear and see what is happening around them.

Information for those with drug & alcohol issues

The use of drugs and/or alcohol does not cause domestic abuse but it can be present in abusive relationships.

Planning to Leave?

You can leave your home and we can give you details of services which can help.

Information for friends and family

It can be difficult to acknowledge a friend or relative may be suffering domestic abuse. Find out how you can hekp them here.


Are you concerned about your own behaviour, or worried about someone else's? 

Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is where 1 or both people do not consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.

Honour Abuse

Honour Based Violence is a crime or incident committed to defend/protect the honour of the family or community, where they believe one of their family members has shamed them.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs, for non-medical reasons.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can be a part of domestic abuse, where a person is forced to engage in sexual activity, watch sexual acts or perform in degrading ways.


Stalking can consist of any type of behaviour that causes you fear, harassment or anxiety. It could include anything from someone regularly sending flowers, sending unwanted or malicious texts, damaging your property and actual physical or sexual assault.


Men experience domestic abuse. Fact. It can seem hard as a male experiencing domestic abuse, either in a heterosexual or gay relationship, or from a child, to ask for help. You are not alone, you do not deserve it and you are not weak in seeking support.


Are you experiencing domestic abuse?  If you feel you may be, please look at the warning signs at the bottom of this page.

Abuse often builds up over time to the point that it becomes normal and those living with it may not see it  – but it is abuse and it is wrong.


  • Everyone has the right to live without fear of violence and abuse.
  • The abuser is solely responsible for their abusive and violent behaviours, not the recipient(s) of the abuse.
  • Domestic abuse is not acceptable and some types of domestic abuse are crimes.


See the links on this page for more information and links to appropriate support organisations, or use the Search button.

The government definition of domestic abuse is:

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. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological (telling you you are stupid or worthless; not a good son/daughter)
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial (controlling access to money and benefits, stopping you working)
  • Emotional


Note: This definition includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

People experiencing domestic abuse can be from any background, profession, gender, religion or ethnic group. It can happen to anyone.

Domestic abuse can be present in many aspects of a relationship. It's about one person (the perpetrator) wanting to control, or have power over, another person’s (the victims) actions, behaviours and relationships with others.

The perpetrator maintains this power and control over their victim by using their own behaviour as a ‘weapon’; they may use actual physical violence or just the threat of violence, but far more often they will use controlling or coercive behaviour.

It usually builds up over a period of time without the victim recognising that this is what is happening. The victim is forced into changing their behaviours, shutting out family and friends, keeping the abuser happy to protect themselves and their children. It can begin early in a relationship, it can also begin when a woman becomes pregnant or an adult becomes vulnerable. The Duluth Wheel gives more examples [with kind permission of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project].


What is the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)?

Since March 2014 the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or 'Clare's Law' has been giving members of the public a ‘right to ask’ Police where they have a concern that their partner may pose a risk to them or where they are concerned that the partner of a member of their family or a friend may pose a risk to that individual.

If an application is made under the scheme, Police and partner agencies will carry out checks and if they show that the partner has a record of abusive offences, or there is other information to indicate that there may be a risk from the partner, the Police will consider sharing this information.

To find out more about the scheme call the Police on 101 or go to Beds Police to find out more about the DVDS and other forms of protection.

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Migrant Help

Migrant Help have over 50 years of knowledge and experience of giving advice and support to vulnerable migrants in the UK.

Citizen’s Advice

We provide free, confidential and impartial advice on a range of issue including relationship, money, benefit, housing or employment problems. Search for local centre on-line.

Broken Rainbow LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline

National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* (LGBT) Domestic Violence Helpline provides confidential support to all members of the LGBT communities, their family, friends, and agencies supporting them. The helpline is run by specialist trained operators and provides a space where you can talk through what is going on, and explore your options.

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National Stalking Helpline

The National Stalking Helpline responds to nearly 3,000 victims of stalking each year. A small team of highly trained staff and volunteers provide – by phone and email – information and guidance on the law, how to report stalking, gathering evidence, staying safe and reducing the risk.

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