Advice – Domestic Violence

Recognise domestic abuse

Does your partner, ex-partner or someone you live with:

  • cut you off from family and friends and intentionally isolate you?
  • bully, threaten, or control you?
  • take control of your finances?
  • monitor or limit your use of technology?
  • physically and/or sexually abuse you?

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • threats and intimidation
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

If you believe that you are a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs that you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn, or being isolated from your family and friends
  • having bruises, burns or bite marks on you
  • having your finances controlled, or not being given enough to buy food, medication or pay bills
  • not being allowed to leave your house, or stopped from going to college or work
  • having your internet or social media use monitored, or someone else reading your texts, emails or letters
  • being repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless
  • being pressured into sex or sexual contact
  • being told that abuse is your fault, or that you’re overreacting

See more signs to look for.

Get help and support

All forms of domestic abuse are not acceptable in any situation.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and feel frightened of, or controlled by, a partner, an ex-partner or family member, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and there is no shame in seeking help.

It may seem like a difficult step to take, but there is support available and #YouAreNot Alone.

Free, confidential support and advice are available to victims and their concerned family members or friends, 24 hours a day.

What to do if you are in danger:  

  • Call 999 in an emergency or if you are in immediate danger.
  • If you are calling on a mobile phone and it is not safe to speak, you may dial 55 when prompted and your call will be transferred to the police. Learn more

Support available:

  • The National Domestic Violence helpline offers support and advice as well as a refuge for women and children. They are available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. 
  • Women’s Aid works with women and children to end abuse. If you’re experiencing domestic abuse you can chat to them using their instant messaging service, email one of their support workers, speak with other women in their forum of survivors or get help and advice from their survivor’s handbook.
  • Woman’s Trust is a specialist mental health charity, providing free counselling and therapy for women who have experienced domestic abuse.
  • Galop provides Hate Crime, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence support services to LGBTQ+ victims and survivors by telephone, text and WhatsApp. Their helpline is available 10 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday and until 8 pm on Wednesday and Thursday. 
  • Southall Black sisters offer specialist support, advocacy and information to Asian and Afro-Caribbean women suffering abuse. 
  • Karma Nirvana supports victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. 
  • Imkaan is a UK based, Black feminist organisation addressing violence against Black and minority women and girls. Their website has a list of specialist organisations by and for BME women. 
  • Man Kind supports men suffering from domestic abuse from their current or former partner (including same-sex partners). Their confidential helpline is available weekdays 10 am – 4 pm. Call 018230334244
  • Ask for ANI – The Government have launched a new code word scheme, where if you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help you can ask for ‘ANI’ in any participating pharmacy. ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately but is pronounced Annie. If a pharmacy has the ‘Ask for ANI’ logo on display, it means they are ready to help you. The pharmacy will offer you a private space, provide you with a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.
  • Safe Spaces are also available in Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug and Well pharmacies, TSB banks and independent pharmacies across the UK. Once you are inside, specialist domestic abuse support information will be available for you to access. Many Safe Spaces are also prepared to respond to the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword, to provide victims with a discreet way to access help by calling the police on 999 or specialist support services. Find your nearest Safe Space.


Translated Guidance 

If English is not your first language, information has been translated into several languages as well as an easy read version. Women’s Aid also have guidance documents on domestic abuse and coronavirus available in a number of languages for victims, family and friends, and community members of those affected.

If you are deaf, you can access a British Sign Language video that explains how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse.

Support in Camden

​Camden Safety Net is a confidential service for domestic abuse survivors. Anyone who lives, works or studies in Camden can use the service. You can talk to advisors, who will help keep you safe and discuss your options. Email or call 020 7974 2526. Learn more.

If you wish to speak further about any of your answers, please email us at or call 020 7383 2402


Read our blog on Domestic violence during the pandemic:

There have been reports of a surge in domestic abuse cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Camden Safety Net (CSN), also known as Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisory Service, provides services to survivors of domestic abuse and/or sexual violence as well as to children affected by violence.

In this blog, Caitriona Scanlan, Risk Reductions Manager with Camden Council, talks about the various innovative ways in which CSN has adapted itself during the lockdown period to communicate with women and children in need.

Visit the government website for more information.