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Domestic Abuse

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What is domestic abuse?

If you are suffering physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse or are being threatened or intimidated in your home by a current or previous partner or adult family member you are a victim of domestic abuse.

You may be feeling frightened, isolated, ashamed and confused. Remember you are not to blame for what is happening. You are not alone, and above all you do not have to suffer in silence - help is available.

Cover your tracks

  • Click the ‘Close this page’ button on the right to quickly hide this page. Also be aware of who is around, or who might come into the room, while you are looking at this website.
  • Could you use a computer at a local library, an internet café, a friend’s house or at work instead of your home computer?
  • Your internet browser will record a history of the websites you visit. Remember to clear this history when you’ve finished – here’s some advice on how to do this .
  • Be aware that deleting your entire browsing history can look suspicious – perhaps just delete the websites you don’t want someone else to know you’ve looked at.
  • Clearing cookies can also mean information such as online banking passwords will no longer be saved and again, this could arouse suspicion when another person uses the computer.
  • Many browsers can offer ‘private’ or ‘incognito’ browsing options. This won’t be the case on a computer at work but could help give you more security at home.

Types of abuse:

Domestic abuse can involve any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. It can apply to people:

  • Aged 16 or over
  • Who are or have been intimate partners or family members
  • Any gender or sexuality

Domestic abuse can include the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological: Jealousy, humiliation, degradation, put downs, isolation from family  and friends, threats of suicide, using your children to inform or report on you.
  • Physical: Beating, kicking, slapping, punching, burning, strangulation, stabbing or   denying sleep.
  • Sexual: Rape, enforced sex or prostitution, pornography, or any sexual behaviour or activity which you find unacceptable.
  • Financial: Withholding money or always calling you to account for your spending.
  • Emotional: Name calling or threats to harm you or your children.

How can the police help?

If you are suffering abuse, you can contact your local police station by dialling 101 or by dialling 999 in an emergency.

Our first priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of you and your children. You will be dealt with sympathetically and spoken to separately from the person responsible for the abuse.

If you have been injured it is important that your injuries are examined by a doctor. We can arrange medical aid if necessary, as well as a safe place for you and your children.

To protect you, we will take firm and positive action against your abuser. It may be that you are required to give evidence in court at a later date. We can support you throughout this process if you wish.

How can a domestic abuse officer help?

Wherever you live in the West Midlands, there is a domestic abuse officer who can help you.

They are trained and experienced officers who can offer practical advice and support in all aspects of domestic abuse. They will see you at a time and place convenient to you and can refer you to other support agencies that may be able to help.

Have I brought this upon myself?

No, it is not your fault. Domestic abuse occurs when a person tries to bully or control another. Responsibility lies entirely with that person.

Effects of domestic abuse on children

Domestic abuse has a serious effect on children in the household in a number of ways, either the abuse spreads to the children, or they are psychologically affected by the abuse they see and hear.

A campaign has been launched to focus on the emotional effect domestic abuse has on children and appeals to parents to consider the effect on their children as an additional reason they should seek help.


Please visit the other pages in this section for links and telephone numbers of national support agencies and local organisations who can help if you are suffering from domestic abuse.

More information

To find out more on young people and relationship abuse click here.

More information on Domestic Abuse