Domestic Abuse

You Matter! If you are suffering at the hands of an abusive or violent partner or know someone that is, then call us right away on 101 or in an emergency ring 999 . 

We will listen and we will act, we will help you.

Coming to terms with being in a violent or abusive relationship is far from easy but ignoring it should never be an option as it can have a lasting impact, especially on children.

Domestic abuse comes in many forms. It's not simply about violence. Controlling behavior can be equally dangerous and unpleasant and may lead to you feeling isolated from friends and family. If someone takes away simple everyday items like a mobile phone or stops you having access to money, it can strip away every ounce of self confidence. You don't have to put up with this kind of behaviour.

Tackling domestic abuse is a top priority for us. We want to help you, your friend or anyone affected to break the cycle and get away from violent and controlling partners. 

We can't do it alone though. If you are in an abusive or controlling relationship or think you know someone who is then call us on 101. We will help.

How to spot the signs of domestic abuse

  • Injuries – the potential victim may have bruising, cuts or other injuries. The victim may excuse their injuries by claiming they are clumsy or give the same explanation each time.
  • Stress – the victim may display physical symptoms related to stress, other anxiety disorders or depression. They may have panic attacks, or have strong feelings of isolation and an inability to cope. In more extreme cases the victim may talk of suicide or have even made attempts. 
  • Absent from work - the victim may be late for or off work on a regular basis, or take time off without notice.
  • Personality changes – you may notice personality changes when the victim is around their partner. They may appear to ‘walk on eggshells’, or be jumpy and nervous
  • Low self-esteem – the victim may express or display low self-esteem or lack of confidence regarding their relationship or life in general.  
  • Lack of money – the victim may never seem to have any money because their partner is withholding it from them to control them.
  • Stops socialising – the victim may regularly make excuses for not going out with friends, or suddenly pull out of social meets at the last minute.
  • The victim's partner might display irrational behaviour – they might be jealous, aggressive or possessive. He or she may accuse them of having affairs, flirting or may read their emails, check their phone or constantly phone to check up on them.
  • Unwanted pregnancy/termination – pregnancy often triggers the start of domestic abuse. This may lead a female abuse victim to be unhappy at being pregnant, not wish to continue with the pregnancy, or be forced into having a termination by her partner.
  • Substance abuse – victims may use alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescribed drugs like tranquillisers or anti-depressants to cope.
  • Damage to property – there may be damage to the home or even harm to the pets of victims.

What we are doing to tackle domestic abuse?

  • We are committed to preventing and bringing to justice people who commit domestic violence and abuse.
  • We deal with victims without prejudice and in confidence.
  • Our officers take domestic violence very seriously and will deal quickly with any incident we attend. 
  • We work with highly trained non-police advisors who can help with safety planning and aftercare for you and your family.

Click here to read though our Domestic Abuse Action Plan, which outlines the standards we expect of our officers when dealing with incidents of domestic abuse.

Reporting Domestic Abuse and getting support

We have a dedicated team of experts who deal with domestic abuse. These officers know how difficult reporting it can be and they will ensure that you are safe when you report it and throughout any police or court action that may follow.

They know that you may be at risk and will talk to you about the best ways for them to communicate with you, or meet you so your abusive partner will not find out.

Our officers also work with highly trained non-police advisers who can assist with looking after you and your family during the court process and after our involvement ends.

If safe to do so you can attend any police station in person, ask a friend or relative to do so on your behalf or call the non-emergency number which is 101.

If you want advice and support, but not from the police, see below for contact details of local services that can help.

Domestic Abuse - Offenders

Domestic abuse is often shrouded in secrecy. Being labeled a domestic abuse offender (perpetrator) will be difficult to come to terms with but is something you need to seek help with.

At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will probably confuse jealousy as a sign of love, their controlling behaviour is often disguised as concern and the abuser may have very low self-esteem and are therefore easily insulted or hurt.

Very rarely do abusers conform to the stereotypical image of a constantly harsh, nasty or violent person, either in public or in private. More frequently the abuser portrays a perfectly normal and pleasant picture to the outside world, possibly having responsible jobs and have accomplished many things, but reserves the abuse for their partner.

An abuser will not always be overtly abusive or cruel, they could display apparent sympathy and compassion. This Jeckyll and Hyde tendency of the abuser serves to further confuse the victim, while protecting themselves from any form of suspicion from outsiders.

We work with offenders to help them change their behavior and we work closely with local organisations, charities and helplines to help them make life changes to prevent them from re-offending.

We work closely with a service called Strength to Change, based in Hull. If you live in Hull and would like help stop violence in your home, call 01482 613403. 

Other helplines which may be useful are:

RESPECT - The National Association for Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes and Associated Support Services. RESPECT hold a full list of Perpetrator Programmes in the UK (including those that accept self-referral), together with counsellors, etc trained in this field. Telephone for details on 0845 122 8609 or email info@respect.uk.net 

Everyman Project - Tel. 0207 263 8884. Counselling, support and advice to men who are violent or concerned about their violence, and anyone affected by that violence.

Domestic Violence Protection Notices

A new power was granted to the police which can prohibit a domestic abuse perpetrator from making any contact with a victim for up to 28 days.

Domestic Violence Protection Notice’s (DVPN) and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO) are provided by a court at the request of the police which will provide the victim with immediate protection following an incident of domestic violence, to give the victim time to consider what to do next.

A DVPN issued by the police prohibits the perpetrator from immediately molesting you, as a minimum. It gives you respite from your abuser and an opportunity to engage with services without the perpetrator being on the scene.

The police can then apply for a DVPO from a magistrates’ court, and if granted lasts for up to 28 days. The order may stop the abuser from entering and being within a certain distance of your home, stop the offender from making contact with you and immediately requires the abuser to leave your home until the order expires.

If the person does not follow the conditions of the DVPO, the abuser could be fined up to £5000 and/or sent to prison for up to two months.

  • Within 48 hours of a Domestic Violence Protection Notice being issued, there will be a further hearing in the Magistrates’ court where the length of the order is determined.
  • The new measures give police the power to ban abusers from their homes for a length of time decided through the Magistrates’ court (between 14 and 28 days).
  • If the person does not follow the conditions of the DVPO, the abuser could be fined up to £5000 and/or sent to prison for up to two months.

Coercion and Control

Domestic abuse can take many forms, and is not always linked with violence.

This is nationally recognised and a new offence was passed in law called ‘coercion and control’ and came into practice on 3rd May 2015.

Coercion in the eyes of the law is where a person is purposefully domineering towards a partner or their children.

Coercive control could look like:

  • Unreasonable and non-negotiable demands
  • Stalking – surveillance and unwanted contact
  • Cruelty
  • Destroying the partners other relationships and isolating her/him from friends, family members, co-workers and others
  • Restricting daily activities
  • Combination of demands, threats of negative consequences
  • Manipulation through minimization, denial, lies, promises, etc
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Excuses, rationalisations and blame.
  • Stifling the partner’s independence
  • Controlling partner’s access to information and services
  • Financial control and exploitation
  • Demanding obedience
  • Treating their partner and children as objects
  • Extreme jealousy, possessiveness and ridiculous accusations of cheating.
  • Punishing the partner and children for breaking one of their rules.
  • Ignoring their partner’s needs, opinions and feelings, and the harm that their behaviour does to her/him.

With coercive control being a new offence, many people still associate domestic abuse with physical assaults, broken bones and bruising, however domestic abuse can take many forms, in particular domineering and dictatorial control.

Coercion in the eyes of the law is where a person is purposefully domineering towards a partner or their children.

Coercive control can happen over a long period of time and at first is usually fairly subtle. The abuser at this point will have usually used their powers of manipulation to control their partner, who is probably oblivious of the control they have over them.

It is not uncommon for coercive control to continue or escalate at the point of separation, as the abuser feels the victim is escaping his or her control. 

It is very important for victims to report their situation the police or a support network, so we can help you with safety plans, protection orders. If we are told about it, you will not have to deal with your partner’s domestic abuse all by yourself.

Victimless Prosecutions 

Until recently the police have needed a victim to progress a criminal investigation, however since 2001 the police have been able to pursue with an investigation without the victim being involved.

It can be scary for a victim to seek help or report their partner for being a domestic abuse perpetrator, but being in an abusive relationship is perilous and potentially dangerous.

We strive to work with our victims and their wishes, however the police have to assess the risk to the public and the potential of serious harm reoccurring. We sometimes have to make the decision to progress with an investigation despite the victim not wishing to put a complaint in when the offence is deemed so serious and we have enough evidence to progress without the victim contributing in anyway.

If the offence was so serious we must do the right thing and continue with the investigation. All the time the investigation is running and the court case is live we will still update the victim, offer advice and support from other organisations and charities.