Domestic abuse can happen to anyone by anyone. Find out how to recognise the signs and where to get help.
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Domestic abuse can include emotional, psychological, physical, financial and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.
Recognising the signs of domestic abuse:
There are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about having power and control over you.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have an abusive partner or family member.
Does the person ever:
- belittle you, or put you down?
- blame you for the abuse or arguments?
- deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
- isolate you from family and friends?
- stop you going to university or work?
- make unreasonable demands for your attention?
- accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
- tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
- control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?
Does the person ever:
- call you names?
- yell or swear at you?
- ignore or isolate you?
- exclude you from meaningful events or activities?
- threaten to hurt or kill you?
- destroy things that belong to you?
- stand over you, invade your personal space?
- threaten to kill themselves or the children?
- read your emails, texts or letters?
The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.
Do they ever:
- slap, hit or punch you?
- push or shove you?
- bite or kick you?
- burn you?
- choke you or hold you down?
- throw things?
Does the person ever:
- Control how money is spent?
- Give you an “allowance”?
- Deny you direct access to bank accounts, loans or grants?
- Forbid you from working?
- Run up large debts on joint accounts without your permission or take actions that leads to you having bad credit?
- Force you to be involved in fraudulent activity?
- Spend money on themselves but not allow you to do the same?
- Give you presents or pay for things and expect something in return?
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female.
Does the person ever:
- touch you in a way you don't want to be touched?
- make unwanted sexual demands?
- hurt you during sex?
- pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
- pressure you to have sex (including with other people)?
- If someone has sex with you when you don't want to, this is rape, even if you are in a relationship
A third of domestic abuse against women escalates during pregnancy. If the relationship is already abusive, it can get worse. Find out more about domestic abuse in pregnancy.
If you think you may be in an abusive relationship or experiencing abuse from a family member, there are lots of people who can help you.
In an emergency:
Report to A & E, call 999 and request an ambulance.
Report to Police, call 999. There is an option for silent support if talking will put you in danger.
If it is not an emergency, you can speak to your GP/healthcare professional, call the Police non-emergency number on 101 or attend any local Police station.
Rights of Women have detailed advice about reporting to the police and a guide to criminal investigations
- Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).
- 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.
- The AAA Taxis ‘Take Me Home’ scheme allows you to use your UCLan ID Card as a deposit for journeys of £8 and under around Preston City Centre and the university area and pay later. You can reclaim your Card later from the Students' Union Finance Office. The number for AAA Taxis is 01772 555444.
- What is domestic abuse?This section describes what domestic abuse is.
- To a friend. Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help.
- To a Wellbeing Advisor A Wellbeing advisor can provide wellbeing support for a range of issues that affect students, including domestic abuse. Wellbeing Advisors have received training through Women’s Aid, have experience in supporting students who have been a victim of domestic abuse and have links with external services who can help, regardless of whether you choose to report to the Police or not.
- To Human Resources who can provide advice, guidance and signposting for staff.
- Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs). For anyone experiencing domestic abuse, through contacting Lancashire Victim Servicesthey will be able to speak to an IDVA. The IDVA will work with them to find the best way forward and they are specially trained to provide non-judgemental emotional support as well as practical help with issues including personal safety, housing and benefits.
- 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.
- Reporting to the police.If you're thinking of reporting to the police, Women’s Aid have put together some information on what to expect when you report domestic abuse to the Police and what happens next. If the incident occurred outside of Lancashire you can ring the Student Wellbeing Service on 01772 893020 or Human Resources on 01772 892324 to discuss how to contact your local Police force if you are unsure.
- UCLan Burnley staff and students can contact Burnley Police Station directly
- UCLan Westlakes Campus staff and students can view the Cumbria Police site for information on how the Police can offer support.
- Reporting the incident anonymously. You can call CrimeStoppers at any point on 0800 555 111 or use their online form
- Report and Support Students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can request support from an advisor. If you choose to talk to an advisor they will be able to talk through the options and support available to you, in confidence.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
1 in 4 people is affected by a mental health problem in any year and it is estimated that around 1 in 5 people has contemplated suicide or self-harm. Experiencing domestic abuse can have detrimental effect on a person’s mental wellbeing. If you are worried or concerned about the impact on your mental wellbeing, find out more about support available.
Take care of yourself
It’s important that you take care of yourself. If you’ve heard something distressing or if something is troubling you, the University's Student Wellbeing Service offers confidential help to students. If you are a member of staff, you can email the Staff Counselling service or call them on 01772 892329 to request an appointment.