Domestic abuse is very common and can ruin lives. The police estimate that they get a call every minute from someone who is a victim of domestic abuse.
The term refers to threats, violence or abuse between people who have a relationship with each other, have had in the past or are family members.
Some organisations use the word 'abuse' instead of 'violence'.
Domestic abuse can take different forms.
- Physical abuse: Pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking and using weapons.
- Sexual abuse: Forcing or pressuring someone to have sex (rape), unwanted sexual activity, touching, groping someone or making them watch pornography.
- Financial abuse: Taking money, controlling finances, not letting someone work.
- Emotional/psychological abuse: Making someone feel bad or scared, stalking, blackmailing, constantly checking up on someone, playing mind games.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is often called Clare's Law after the case that led to it.
This law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may post a risk to them. Under Clare's Law, a member of the public can also make enquiries into the partner of a close friend or family member.
Once an application is made (by contacting local Police), police and partner agencies will carry out a range of checks to reveal any records of abusive offences or record of any risk of violence or abuse. They will then consider which information to share with you.
Any disclosure of information will be made to you in person.
Police and Civil Orders
If you want to report to the Police, you can call 101, attend your local police station or report online here. If it is an emergency or you are in danger, please call 999.
Police officers will speak to you away from the person responsible and will keep you up to date through any investigation.
Police may decide to serve a Domestic Violence Protection Order. This means that a perpetrator can be 'banned' from returning to the home and having contact with you. You can find more information here.
Regardlesss of whether you report to the police, there is support available to you. Some services you can see on the right hand side of this page, otherwise use the search box at the top of the page to find a support service for you.