What is it?
Domestic abuse is when you are abused by a partner (e.g. a boyfriend or girlfriend), an ex-partner, or a family member.
It is defined in law as “any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality”.
If you are under 16 you can experience domestic abuse, but legally this would be considered child abuse.
While domestic abuse can happen to anyone, it is a gendered crime. This means that, statistically, more women and girls are likely to experience it, and the abuse is more likely to be carried out by men and boys.
Whoever you are, if you've experienced domestic abuse you deserve help, and support is available.
What does it look like?
Are you ever scared of your boyfriend? Does your ex constantly message you even though you ended things? Are you being hurt by your brother? If so, you may be experiencing domestic abuse.
There’s no definite list of what domestic abuse looks like. It can involve physical violence. It can be putting you down and making you feel worthless. It can be a boyfriend or girlfriend threatening to share your nude photos. It can feel like you’re walking on egg shells when you’re around somebody. If something doesn’t feel right either during a relationship or afterwards, know that you’re not alone, and you can get support.
Domestic abuse is common, and must be taken seriously as a health issue. We are here to listen to you, and to ensure you get the support that you deserve, so please do talk to us about this at an appointment, or at a drop-in session.
In an emergency, or if you are really frightened, always call 999. If you are unable to speak, call 999, then dial 55 when prompted.
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWA) provides emotional and practical support for women who have experienced or who are experiencing domestic abuse. If you were assaulted by a current or ex-partner, or a family member, they can offer you specialised support.
Umbrella can refer you to BSWA, or you can call their helpline on 0808 800 0028.
For 24-hour support you can contact the national helpline on 0808 200 0247.
Free and confidential support is available from the Men’s Advice Line.
Birmingham LGBT centre provides free and confidential support to anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+.
Children and young people
Childline offers free and confidential support for children and young people.
Cranstoun offers help and support to people at risk of homelessness due to domestic abuse.