Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is not a one-off incident, but an ongoing pattern of behaviour in the relationship. It includes a range of behaviours which, once begun, repeats and often gets worse over time.

Anyone can be a victim regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Coercive and controlling behaviour appears in all domestic abusive relationships to some degree. The video below shows some examples.

Read the definition of Domestic Abuse on

If you relate to anything you have seen on this page please seek support.

If you are worried about your immediate safety please ring the police on 999.

Support available

Asking for help often isn’t easy, but if you think you’re in an abusive relationship, getting in touch with your local support service can be an important first step. They are fully trained and can give you a confidential space to explore your options and make safe decisions.

It’s never too early or late to reach out.

In an emergency

  • Silent Solution provides information for when you are calling 999, and unsafe to speak.
  • Emergency SMS is a service for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK.

In an emergency call the Police on 999 or for non-emergency 101.

Local support

  • Andy’s Man Club is a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups both locally and nationally.
  • Clare’s Law is a scheme giving any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them.
  • LDASS provides help for women, men and children experiencing domestic abuse in Lincolnshire.
  • H.A.Y. Lincolnshire is a family of websites that bring together everything in the local community that boosts wellbeing.
  • Lincolnshire Rape Crisis supports people of all genders and ages who live or work in Lincolnshire, who have been affected by any form of sexual violence.
  • Mental Health Helplines offers information on Lincolnshire services available for adults and children.
  • Migrant Workers Helpline trained advisors are fluent in Polish as well as being experts in providing all the help you need. 
  • SoLDAS - Boston Womens Aid is a South Lincolnshire charity providing support, advice and safe housing for those experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Spring Lodge is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre for children and adults.

District councils

You can contact your local district council to search for housing options.

Local family law solicitors

National support

  • Childline 0800 1111
  • Childrens Society provides information on abusive teenage relationships
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) 
  • Forced Marriage Unit 020 7008 0151
  • Galop 0800 999 5428 – offers support for LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence
  • Gamcare 0808 8020 133 24/7 helpline for gambling related support
  • HourGlass 24hr 0808 8088141 – provides information and support to older people who are at risk of experiencing any form of abuse or neglect
  • Jewish Women’s Aid 0808 801 0500 - supporting Jewish women and children affected by domestic abuse & sexual violence
  • Karma Navarna 0800 5999 247 – specialist charity for victims and survivors of honour-based abuse
  • Mankind 01823 334244
  • Men’s Advice Line 0808 1689 111
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline 24hrs (Refuge) 0808 2000 247
  • National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300
  • Non-Fatal Strangulation – provides information for victims of strangulation
  • OPOKA supports women and children in the Polish community by offering services to those experiencing domestic abuse, including health, wellbeing and financial support. Helpline 0300 365 1700 please note this is answered in Polish and is for Polish women only
  • Paladin assists high-risk victims of stalking throughout England and Wales
  • Rape Crisis 0808 500 2222 – 24hr helpline for those who have been sexually abused
  • Respect 0808 802 4040 – support services for those worried about their own abusive behaviours
  • Revenge Porn Helpline – 0845 6000 459
  • Samaritans 116 123
  • Shelter offers information, support and advice for those facing homelessness or experiencing unsafe housing
  • Sign Health offers services to improve deaf people’s health and wellbeing
  • Southall Black Sisters 020 8571 9595 – provides support for black and minority women experiencing domestic and gender related abuse
  • The Traveller Movement a safe pace designed for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller women to get the information and support
  • Turn to Us is a charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially
  • Universal Credit
  • Vesta Specialist Family Support
  • Women’s Aid

Personal safety

Out and about

  • Ask for ANI is a domestic abuse codeword scheme to help those experiencing abuse access emergency support from a local pharmacy
  • Safe Spaces locations provides information on businesses where safe and discreet spaces are available for those who need to contact specialist services

Keeping yourself safe

If you are thinking of leaving you can visit Mankind and Womens Aid to find useful information on how to keep yourself safe when preparing to leave and for once you have left.

If you have no accommodation to go to, and refuge is not suitable, please consider contacting your local District Council for further housing options.

Common domestic abuse myths

There are many myths around what abuse is and why it happens. You can find an overview of these common misconceptions on this video.

How to help others

There is a likelihood that you will know somebody who is experiencing domestic abuse. There are lots of ways you can help, including:

  • Listen, try to understand and do not to blame them. Tell them that they are not alone and that there are many others in similar situations.
  • Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse. Give them time to talk, but don’t push them to go into too much detail if they don’t want to.
  • Acknowledge that they are in a frightening and very difficult situation.
  • Tell them that no one deserves to be threatened or abused, despite what their abuser has told them. Nothing they can do or say can justify the abuser’s behaviour.
  • Allow them to make their own decisions, they have been controlled enough.
  • Don’t tell them to leave the relationship if they are not ready. This has to be their decision.
  • If they have injuries, encourage them to seek medical advice.
  • Encourage them to report the abuse to the police.
  • Offer support if they want to access domestic abuse services.
  • Encourage them to seek legal advice on matters to ensure they are fully informed of their options.
  • Discuss a safety plan.
  • Remember to look after yourself during this time as it can have an emotional impact on you and ensure that you do not put yourself into any dangerous situations.

If you're worried about your behaviour and looking for support

Do you worry about how you are treating someone you love?

Relationships can be challenging, and they can make us feel vulnerable. When we are with certain people, our emotions become intense:

  • we can get frustrated
  • feel jealous
  • worry when things aren't working out how we want them to

You might find yourself behaving in ways that hurt or scare the people around you and make you feel bad. Your behaviour may have consequences such as:

  • relationship breaking down
  • separation and break up
  • issues with looking after a child/children
  • the police being called out

Domestic abuse can hurt anyone affected, and it is never too late to seek help.

Acknowledging you need help is the first step to making a positive change.

This can feel daunting, but it is a step in the right direction to taking accountability.

Should you make contact with services that can help you to change.

  • your call will be confidential.
  • you will be treated with respect.
  • there will be no judgement.
  • you will be listened to.

Domestic abuse is not acceptable and there is never an excuse.

If you worry about your controlling or frightening behaviour, some services can help you to recognise this. They can offer support to make a positive change for your life and others around you.
If you are worried about your own abusive behaviour, please contact Respect 0808 802 4040.


Impact on children

Experiencing domestic abuse with children in the home can add extra complexities and worries for the non-abusive parent. The abuser alone is responsible for their actions.

For children and young people growing up experiencing domestic abuse, this can be the only example of what a relationship looks like, having an impact on the future relationships that they form.

Young people can experience domestic abuse, regardless of gender. This can include sexual, physical, emotional, financial as well as coercive control and harassment.

When children and young people experience domestic abuse, this can lead to them feeling a range of emotions. Some children and young people may feel intense anger which could lead to aggressive behaviour towards parents/carers.

If you are a young person who is struggling with processing your feelings around what you have experienced; or you are a parent/carer who would like further support please consider speaking to the education safeguarding lead or contacting the safeguarding referral line on 01522 782111.

Support for children and young people

  • The Mix is the UK's leading support service for young people.
  • Healthy Minds provides support for young people in Lincolnshire.
  • Childline is available online and on the phone anytime.
  • Kooth is an online mental wellbeing community for young people.
  • Your Best Friend is a national campaign organised by Safe Lives.

Advice and support for businesses

Domestic abuse has significant consequences for employers throughout the country.

Up to 75% of those experiencing domestic abuse are targeted at work and 54% miss at least three days of work a month. Employees suffering domestic abuse are also more likely to be preoccupied, find it difficult to concentrate and focus at work and have a hard time progressing within their role. 1 in 5 said they would stop going into work or take days off and 1 in 10 quit their job due to the impact of the abuse they were experiencing.

Business engagement

Business engagement is a national response for employers to have a consistent approach in understanding and supporting those in work that may disclose domestic abuse. In Lincolnshire, business engagement is key to identifying and offering appropriate support to those experiencing domestic abuse. The support offered is free and can help your workforce to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

If you would like further information on business engagement, you can contact

You can find further resources and a national toolkit at the Employers' Initiative on Domestic Abuse. You can also find a domestic abuse toolkit for businesses at Vodafone.

You can see a playlist of the business engagement that has already happened in Lincolnshire here.

Support for businesses

Identifying domestic abuse is part of a business’s safeguarding responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.  Up to 75% of those experiencing domestic abuse are targeted at work. The cost of domestic abuse to businesses is estimated at £316 million a year due to:

  • decreased productivity
  • time off work
  • lost wages
  • sick pay

It can have an adverse impact on staff morale, as well as a business’s image and reputation.

We want to establish links with businesses in the county to help you support staff affected by domestic abuse. This includes training to:

  • identify domestic abuse
  • assess risk
  • ensure positive action

This will give your business the confidence to:

  • raise the issue of domestic abuse with staff
  • increase the wellbeing and mental health of your workforce
  • demonstrate the effectiveness of your safeguarding procedures
  • demonstrate that you can create a culture of vigilance to actively promote you workforce’s welfare
  • identify when members of your workforce may be at risk of domestic abuse
  • identify if a person is worried about their own behaviour in their relationships
  • listen to the concerns of your workforce and support them accordingly

Our free support for businesses and the benefits

Our support has four key aims:

  • we will work with you to develop or re-design your safeguarding or domestic abuse procedures
  • deliver briefings to key staff to develop a strategic vision on domestic abuse
  • provide information on services and support for:
    • those being abused  
    • those who are worried about their own behaviour in their relationships
  • to introduce local services that employees can access, including training


  • your business will better understand domestic abuse and how it can affect your workforce
  • help your business to understand the link between:
    • low mental health
    • low productivity
    • high absenteeism
    • inappropriate use of disciplinary action
  • support your workforce to improve their mental health and wellbeing
  • improve productivity

Lincolnshire business domestic abuse advocacy programme

As an advocate you would demonstrate a commitment to raising awareness of domestic abuse within your business and your local community.

Expectations of a business advocate

  • provide opportunities for your workforce to complete relevant training
  • share and display posters and leaflets, electronically and as hard copies within the workplace and local community
  • display pop-up banners to raise awareness
  • sponsor a business engagement conference in your area
  • work with us to raise awareness of domestic abuse within your business
  • share the positive impact that working with us has had on your business

Becoming a business advocate

Contact us by email:

State the name of your business, and that you are interested in the Business Advocacy Programme

Benefits of being a business advocate

  • a Lincolnshire business domestic abuse advocate certificate can be displayed across your business and local community.  This demonstrates that you are committed to raising awareness of domestic abuse
  • the chance to receive the Advocate Award for Best Business at our annual conference
  • you can nominate staff for the Domestic Abuse Advocate Employee of the Year award
  • domestic abuse lanyards for key staff to wear, as advocates.  This lets employees know they can be approached if they have concerns regarding domestic abuse
  • a monthly newsletter, so you are always up to date regarding domestic abuse in the county
  • access to the Lincolnshire Professionals Hub.  This contains all the resources needed to support your workforce and local community
  • long-term support from us regarding domestic abuse within the workplace