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Domestic Abuse

Anyone can experience domestic abuse

Domestic abuse (also sometimes called domestic violence) is a pattern of abusing and controlling behavior which often escalates over time. It is more common than people think; it can happen between partners and within families. Domestic abuse can include emotional and financial abuse, physical assault, psychological abuse, sexual abuse and rape, threats, harassment and intimidation

Domestic abuse can affect anyone – men, women and those who identify as non-binary. It can occur in any relationship – heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual; young or old. View our Domestic Abuse Policy here.

Domestic abuse is a crime and should be reported to the Police. Call 999 if it’s an emergency or if you are in immediate danger.

The Police take domestic abuse seriously and will be able to help and protect you. Contact your local neighbourhood policing team on 101 if it’s not an emergency.

Don’t feel that you can report to the police?

Contact the National Domestic Abuse helpline for some free help and advice. It is a freephone, 24-hour line 0808 2000 247.

Additional guidance during the coronavirus situation:

The Government’s stay at home advice in response to the coronavirus situation can create new challenges for people experiencing domestic abuse.

You may be at home with your perpetrator and unable to escape from the abuse.

Can’t talk? The police can manage silent calls, click here for more information.

Also, Safelives, a national domestic abuse organisation, has developed a web page dedicated to safety planning during the coronavirus situation. It can be found here

How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship?

It’s not always easy to know if you’re being abused.  Abusers may try to persuade you that what they’re doing is normal, is a sign of love or that they’re really sorry.  

Some possible signs are:
  • You are scared of them
  • They have hurt, or threatened to hurt, you or people you care about
  • They force you to do things you don't want to do, including sexually
  • They stop you from seeing your friends, family or people who you may go to for advice such as a GP or social worker
  • They have threatened to take your children away or hurt them
  • They prevent you from continuing or starting school, college or from going to work
  • They constantly check up on you or follow you - they may also track you via your mobile phone
  • They wrongly accuse you of flirting or of having affairs on a regular basis
  • They get extremely jealous and possessive
  • They constantly humiliate you or criticise or insult you, often in front of other people
  • You change your behaviour because you're afraid of what they might do or say to you
  • They deliberately destroy things that belong to you
  • They control how much money you have
  • They blame you for the abuse
  • They control your daily routine.

If you’re not sure whether something that has happened to you is abuse or not, it can help to imagine if you would be worried if it happened to a friend or a close relative. The Power and Control Wheel is also a useful tool to help identify signs of an abusive relationship.

Personal safety planning

You can’t stop the abuse, only the abuser can do that. But there are things you can do to increase your own and any children in the household’s safety. You’re probably already doing some of these things. A personal safety plan is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children (if you have them). It helps you plan for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave. 

Tips for safety planning
  • Plan how you might respond in different situations, including crisis situations
  • Think about the different options that may be available to you
  • Keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers (for example, your local Women’s Aid refuge organisation or other domestic violence service; the police domestic violence unit; your GP; your social worker, if you have one; your children’s school; your solicitor; and the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247)
  • Teach your children to call 999 in an emergency, and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number)
  • Are there neighbours you can trust, and where you could go in an emergency? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack
  • Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and any children can get away safely
  • Pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children, and hide it somewhere safe (for example, at a neighbour’s or friend’s house). Try to avoid mutual friends or family. See the suggestions below on what to pack if you are planning to leave your partner
  • Try to keep a small amount of money on you and/or debit card at all times – including change for the phone and for bus fares
  • Know where the nearest phone is, and if you have a mobile phone, try to keep it with you
  • If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house – for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone. Avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons; and avoid rooms where you might be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space
  • Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.

I am still with my abuser – https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/I-am-still-living-with-my-abuser

I am planning to leave my abuser – https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/safety-planning-leaving-abuser/

I have left my abuser - https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/safety-planning-left-abuser/

Are you concerned about your own behaviour?

There is also help for those who have recognised their own abusive behaviour or looking for help for a perpetrator. Respect is a national phone line you can contact on 0800 8024040, click here to visit their website.

What can Orbit do? 

The Police have a duty to investigate crimes relating to domestic abuse and have specially trained officers who deal with domestic abuse cases; they have the power to take action against perpetrators and safeguard the public; however, there is some assistance we can provide as your housing provider.

  • Our Community Safety and Anti-fraud team will open a case and you will be allocated a case manager. You can meet with the case manager by appointment in our office or at an agreed safe place. Please let us know if you are more comfortable talking to someone of the same sex and we can arrange this for you when allocating a case manager. The case manager will then carry out a risk assessment and agree an action plan with you.
  • We can provide you with a translator if needed free of charge.
  • The information you provide will be treated as confidential and will not be disclosed to any third parties without your permission, unless there are serious concerns for you or a child’s safety. If there are safeguarding concerns, we do have a legal responsibility to share information with the relevant Safeguarding Authority.
  • We will give you advice on your housing options. We can give you details of your local authority homelessness team if you need emergency temporary accommodation and details of local refuge accommodation. To find out who your local authority is click here
  • We can refer you to our Tenancy Sustainment team who provide a range of support services or to our BetterDays service who can provide you with details of other professional organisations that offer advice and support.
  • In certain circumstances we may be able to take enforcement action against the perpetrator of the domestic abuse. However, this will depend on the circumstances of the case and other professional organisation’s actions.
  • We may be able make reasonable changes to your property to increase security and this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and we can liaise with local authorities regarding sanctuary work.

Be internet safe.

It may be necessary to delete your browsing history if the perpetrator is checking it. There are some good websites that give advice on this, please click here to see the Woman’s Aid page that is relevant for all, not just women.

Name / Details  Phone Number Website

English National Domestic Violence Helpline

0808 200 0247

www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

National Centre for Domestic Violence

0800 970 2070

www.ncdv.org.uk

Victim Support

0808 1689 111

www.victimsupport.org.uk

Refuge

0800 200 0247 www.refuge.org.uk 

Man Kind

01823 334244

https://www.mankind.org.uk/

Broken Rainbow National Helpline - LGBT

0300 999 5428

www.broken-rainbow.co.uk

Galop - LGBT

0800 999 5428

www.galop.org.uk

Forced Marriage Unit

020 7008 0151

www.gov.uk/stop-forced-marriage

Women’s Aid

0808 2000 247

www.womensaid.org.uk

Childline - Information and advice for children and young people affected by domestic abuse

0800 11 11

www.childline.org.uk

The Dogs Trust, Freedom Project - a free service operating of some areas of the UK for dogs belonging to take dogs into foster care from families fleeing domestic abuse

0800 0834322

www.dogstrustfreedomproject.org.uk

Victim Support

0800 781 6818

www.victimsupport.org.uk

Citizens Advice   www.citizensadvice.org.uk
NHS    www.NHS.gov.uk
Safelives   www.safelives.org.uk

Karma Nirvana - Advice and support for victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage

0800 5999 247  www.karmanirvana.org.uk
Respond - Support for people with learning disabilities who have experienced trauma and/or abuse 0808 808 0700  www.respond.org.uk
Deafhope - Domestic and sexual abuse support for the deaf communit

020 3947 2600 (Phone)

079 7035 0366 (Text)

www.deaf-hope.org
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