What is Domestic Abuse? 

Domestic abuse can be any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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 include forced marriage, so-called “honour-based” violence, Female Genital Mutilation, and ritual abuse. You may wish to access support for current domestic abuse, or you may now be free of the abuse and looking for support to help you heal and move on from your experiences. 

The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: 

·       psychological 
·       physical 
·       sexual 
·       financial/economic abuse 
·       emotional 
·       coercive control 
·       online or digital 

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour. Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, frighten, isolate or create dependence. 

There are links and overlap between domestic violence and the continuum of sexual violence.


I’ve been affected by domestic abuse- what can I do? 

  • Are you or someone else in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can contact the emergency services on 999 (or 112 from a mobile phone).
  • Finding a safe space.  If possible try and find somewhere you feel safe. If this isn't possible and you are on campus you can call security on 01772 892068.  
  • Try talking to a friend.  Consider asking a friend or someone you trust to be with you.
  • Text Support.  If you feel you need to talk to someone immediately you can contact Shout, a free 24/7 text service for anyone struggling to cope. TEXT Shout to 85258.
  •  The Millers Taxis ‘Take Me Home’ scheme allows you to use your UCLan ID Card as a deposit for journeys of £10 and under around Preston City Centre, and the university area, and pay later. You will then be emailed and instructed on how to collect your card. The number for Millers Taxis is 01772 884000. 
  • Download the UCLan SafeZone app to access a range of safety support and information such as raising an emergency alert, calling for help and setting a check in timer which alerts security if you do not reach your destination in a set amount of time. 
  • View our UCLan Safety Plan and contact the Wellbeing service to arrange an appointment to have a personalised safety plan put together with one of our Wellbeing Advisors. 
  • If you are not on campus, is there a family member or close friend you can trust who could come and pick you up?


UCLan’s Wellbeing Advisors have a range of experience in many areas, including domestic abuse and sexual violence. They have received specialist training from Women’s Aid, Paladin, Laura Richards and Lime Culture, as well as many having worked in refuges and for domestic and sexual abuse support services. Contact us on 01772 893020 or make a report to an advisor to arrange an appointment.

Lancashire Victim Services are offering a drop-in service with one of their Independent Sexual Violence Advocates at UCLan’s Preston Campus. This is on Tuesdays in term-time, between 12-2pm in the Wellbeing hub on the Upper Ground Floor of the Student Centre. You do not need an appointment. Please contact LVS or UCLan Wellbeing team if you would like any more information. 

If you're thinking of reporting to the police, Women’s Aid have put together some information on Understanding the role of the police and the Criminal Prosecution Process . If the incident occurred outside of Lancashire you can ring the Student Wellbeing Service on 01772 893020 or The People Team on 01772 892324 to discuss how to contact your local Police force if you are unsure. 


Where can I get support? 

Specialist Support services outside university

Lancashire Victim Services will assign you to an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA). IDVAs offer support to victims of domestic abuse to address their safety and the safety of their children. Serving as a victim’s primary point of contact, IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans. They receive specialist accredited training and hold a nationally recognised qualification. 

There are various specialist domestic abuse services serving different parts of Lancashire – please see the Lancashire County Council webpage for full details: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/your-health-and-wellbeing/domestic-abuse/

Victim Support Cumbria also run an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor Service https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/cumbria/help-after-domestic-abuse/

Greater Manchester End the Fear Domestic Abuse helpline 0161 636 7525–https://www.endthefear.co.uk/

Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. This is run on a partnership between Women’s Aidand Refuge. Lines are open 24/7 and calls can be made anonymously. 

Karma Nirvana is a national charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. Honour crimes are not determined by age, faith, gender or sexuality; they support and work with all victims. They run a national helpline offering direct support and guidance to victims and professionals. 

Galop is a charity that supports lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people affected by domestic abuse.

Loving Me offers support for Trans and Non-Binary victims of domestic Violence and/or sexual violence,  providing  high quality support by trained specialists who understand the specific needs of the trans community as well as abuse and are a by-and-for service https://www.lovingme.uk/ 
Men's Advice Line provides advice and support for male victims of domestic abuse 

Revenge Porn Helpline - https://revengepornhelpline.org.uk/

Humraaz provides confidential specialist support to Black and Minority Ethnic women in Lancashire who are experiencing Domestic Abuse and all forms of Harmful Traditional Practices. The support they offer is tailored to the individual and includes practical and emotional support. You can self refer via email or a referral can be made on your behalf, with your consent, by a professional that you have been meeting with, such as a Wellbeing Advisor at UCLan. 

Paladin – supporting victims of stalking https://www.paladinservice.co.uk/

Support guides

The Home Office have also produced a guide titled Three Steps to Escaping Violence Against Women and Girlsand focuses on issues face by black and minority ethnic women and children.
Support at UCLan
For Students 

The Student Wellbeing Service can help students experiencing a range of difficulties that are affecting their mental health and wellbeing. They offer a confidential, professional service, ensuring that students receive personal support, recognising people as individuals, all with different needs.

UCLan Students' Union Advice and Representation Centre. This is a free, confidential, impartial service where students can get advice and information on academic and personal issues, including advice on procedures and representation at hearings.

If you are a student in Halls, all of the residences have a team of Residence Officers and Assistant Residences Officer. The team can provide you with assistance and support to make your time with us an enjoyable one. Contact the Accommodation team on studentaccommodation@uclan.ac.uk

Mitigating Circumstances. If you feel your studies have been affected by what has happened you can consider applying for Mitigating Circumstances.

For Staff
The People Team. If you are a member of staff or manager your People Team partner will be able to identify the support that’s available for you.

Trade Unions. There are three trade unions that represent staff at the University: Unison, Unite and UCU.
Staff Counselling. It’s important that you take care of yourself. The Staff Counselling Service offers a confidential, accessible counselling service to all its employees, in line with the University's mission statement and policies. If you are a member of staff, you can email the Staff Counselling service or call 01772 892329 to request an appointment.


There are two ways you can tell us what happened