Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse and violence is about someone trying to have power and control over you and everything you do. Abusers will do anything to keep that control. Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off event and physical violence often escalates in frequency and severity over time.

Domestic abuse is usually perpetrated against women by men they know. However, men are also abused by their female partners, and parents are sometimes abused by their children.

Domestic abuse affects people of all ages and from all backgrounds and communities.

To find out what support is out there go to our Domestic Abuse Support page.

Getting help

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and need help, there are lots of organisations who are ready to help.

Don’t suffer in silence. These are the key contact numbers for helplines. Other local services are listed below.


  • Nottinghamshire Women's Aid: 01909 491330 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
  • Nottinghamshire Juno Helpline: 0808 800 0340 (24 hours)
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)


  • Equation's service for men: 0115 960 5556
  • Men's Advice Line: 0808 801 0327


  • Childline: 0800 1111

Enough campaign

The campaign has been launched by the government to highlight different forms of violence against women and girls and the simple acts that anyone can take to challenge perpetrators of abuse. Forms of abuse against women and girls represented include street harassment, coercive control, unwanted touching, workplace harassment, revenge-porn and cyber-flashing.

The campaign was informed by the unprecedented 180,000 responses to the Call for Evidence last year. This multi-year campaign will also include communications to educate young people about healthy relationships and consent, and ensure victims can recognise abuse and seek support.

To find out more, go to the Enough campaign website.

Safe spaces

Safe Spaces aren't just for contacting a domestic abuse helpline. If want to leave an abusive relationship, and need somewhere private to get things sorted, Safe Spaces are open for you. Find a safe space in a bank or pharmacy near you.

Victims of domestic abuse are also able to access safe spaces at Boots UK pharmacy consultation rooms across the country where they can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.

Bright Sky app

Bright Sky is a new app to help victims of domestic abuse record evidence of their abusive relationships and seek professional help.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse it will help you to log private journal entries in the form of text, photos and videos, which are then sent to a designated email address. This information can be sent to the authorities at a later date.

The app also uses GPS to show you help points nearby and offers advice if you’re in an abusive relationship, or for people who are concerned about someone else.

Download the app from the Apple App store or on Google Play for Android devices.

Local services and support

Nottinghamshire Women's Aid (NWAL)

Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid provides a safe environment for women, with ongoing support, advice, counselling and learning opportunities. We believe that every woman should live a life free from abuse and be the director in their own lives. At Nottinghamshire Women's Aid we believe in you and look forward to working for every woman who needs us.

Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid also provide support to children and young people and the details are on their website here:

NWAL has adapted its practice in accordance with COVID-19 government guidelines and with the support of Public Health, Nottinghamshire County Council and Office of Police and Crime Commissioner Leads to ensure that support can continue safely.

NWAL are currently not running group programmes or face-to-face work, instead increasing phone contact. They will also still be accepting referrals for community based services.

Change Grow Live

The Bassetlaw and Newark Change Grow Live services are still up and running, with some changes due to COVID-19.

Bassetlaw - Services at Ground Floor, Crown House are still running with a minimum staffing level, avoiding all but essential face to face contact. Please contact them by phone on 0115 896 0798 option two to discuss if support is available without having to come into the building.

Newark – If you are in need of support please contact them by phone on 0115 896 0798 option two or if you are a current service user please contact your worker.


Services from Equation are running as normal with the exception of face-to-face work. Call Equation’s service for men on 0115 960 5556.

Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA)

If you are suffering from economic or financial abuse, get in touch with Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA). Lloyds Banking Group has a specialist domestic abuse team and referrals can be made via SEA.

More information about support available to you can be found on our domestic violence support page. 

Types of abuse

Physical abuse 

Physical abuse happens when a person uses physical force against another person including:

  • pushing
  • punching
  • kicking
  • spitting
  • strangulation
  • sleep and food deprivation

Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off event and physical violence often escalates in frequency and severity over time.

Verbal abuse 

Verbal abuse is a key feature of emotionally abusive relationships. The perpetrator consistently makes statements that negatively label a person. This has a serious impact on the self-esteem and confidence of the person experiencing the verbal abuse. 

Verbal abuse includes angry yelling but it also includes cold statements designed to humiliate a person.

Verbal abuse includes:

  • name-calling
  • continuous criticism, swearing and humiliation in public or in private
  • attacks on someone’s intelligence, body or parenting
  • yelling

Mental and emotional abuse 

Emotional abuse does not leave physical scars but it can have a big impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing.

The signs of emotional abuse can be hard to identify, especially because it is non-physical. It includes:

  • controlling who the victim can and can't see
  • blaming them for all problems in the relationship
  • controlling what they wear
  • intimidation
  • intentionally embarrassing them in public

Someone experiencing emotional abuse can start to believe that what the perpetrator says about them is true. They may also blame themselves for the abuse. The constant criticism lowers their self-esteem and confidence, making it very difficult to leave the abusive relationship.

Sexual abuse 

Sexual abuse is any form of forced or unwanted sexual activity, perpetrator of sexual abuse may use physical force, make threats or take advantage of a person unable to give consent.

It has impacts on a person’s physical and emotional health. It can lead to long-term mental health issues, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • rape 
  • deliberately causing pain during sex
  • forced sex without protection against pregnancy or STIs
  • forcing the victim to perform sexual acts
  • unwanted touching
  • using sex as a punishment

Sexual abuse mainly happens between people who know each other, but not always.

Consent is key to healthy sexual experiences. Always have sex with consent. Do not pressure your partner into having sex or performing sexual acts they do not agree to. You always have the right to say no, even if you’re married or live together. Silence does NOT mean consent.

Social abuse

Perpetrators of social abuse prevent a person from spending time with family and friends, and participating in social activities.

Social abuse can include:

  • monitoring a victims phone calls and emails
  • controlling who they can and can’t see
  • continuously criticising their friends or family
  • moving far away so they can’t reach their loved ones
  • verbally or physically abusing them in public

By isolating them from their support networks, the perpetrator is attempting to assert power and control. Without a network of friends and family for support, a person can find it very difficult to leave an abusive relationship


Stalking happens when a person intentionally and persistently pursues someone against their will. The stalker does this to control, intimidate and create fear in the person they are stalking. The person being stalked may feel like they are in danger. Find out more about stalking on our webpage.

Financial abuse 

Financial abuse can be subtle, with a perpetrator gradually taking control over bank accounts and financial transactions. Financial abuse can also be obvious, violent and threatening. For example, someone may forbid their partner from working or spending their wages. 

Financial abuse includes:

  • someone taking complete control of finances and money
  • restricting access to bank accounts
  • providing an inadequate allowance and monitoring what their partner spends money on
  • forbidding a partner to work
  • taking a partner’s pay and not allowing them to access it
  • preventing them from getting to work by taking their keys or car
  • identity theft to secure credit
  • using their credit card without their permission

Image-based abuse

Image-based abuse is when someone shares, or threatens to share, intimate photos without the consent of the person in the photo.

Image-based abuse includes photos or videos of a:

  • nude person
  • person engaged in a sex act
  • person showering or bathing
  • person’s face digitally added to a sexualised image

It includes images taken with and without a person’s consent.

Cyber crime

Cyber crime is a crime that takes place online. Victims can be a single person, a group of people, or an organisation. Some examples of how cyber crime can affect you include:

  • having your social media or other online accounts hacked
  • being bullied online (often referred to as cyber bullying)
  • someone gaining access to your online banking account and online accounts
  • a partner invading your privacy

The police takes cyber crime very seriously. Find out more on the Nottinghamshire Police website.

Domestic homicide reviews (DHR)

A domestic homicide review (DHR) is a review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by either:

  • a person to whom they were related or with whom they were or had been in an intimate personal relationship (this includes relationships between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality)
  • a member of the same household

A DHR is held with a view to identifying the lessons to be learnt from the death. Once a review has been completed a report is produced by the Community Safety Partnership. You can contact them with any questions or for further information on

Domestic homicide review reports conducted in Nottinghamshire

Domestic homicide review executive summary - Judith - Jan 2019 (PDF File, 669kb)