Domestic violence is defined by the Home Office as; “any incident or pattern of incidents 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 gender or sexuality.” The abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional and includes forced marriage, so called ‘honour based’ violence and female genital mutilation.
The violence and abuse can start at any time during a relationship and generally, over time, becomes more severe and is also liable to occur more frequently. Victims of domestic violence are left feeling scared and isolated and often blame themselves for the abuse. This can make it very difficult for victims to seek the help they need.
Help for people affected by domestic violence
Domestic violence is a crime. If you and/or your children are in danger, call 999. In an emergency, the police should come to you immediately.
There are a number of agencies who can provide help for people experiencing domestic violence.
National Domestic Violence Helpline
If you are a woman seeking support you can telephone the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. This is a 24 hour free and confidential helpline for women experiencing domestic violence. The service is provided in partnership by Refuge and Women’s Aid Federation England (WAFE).
Refuge and WAFE provide a range of services for women and children affected by domestic violence across the country. These include refuge, community support, advocacy and legal advice. For further information, see the WAFE website and the Refuge website.
Rights of Women
Rights of Women is an organisation providing free, confidential legal advice via a telephone helpline for women. The helplines can provide advice on family and criminal law: 020 7251 6577/8887.
Men’s Advice Line
The Men’s Advice Line is a national helpline that offers free support to men in abusive relationships. It is open Monday to Friday 9 to 5 with a call back service. They also provide email support. For further information, call the Men’s Advice Helpline on 0808 801 0327, or see the Men’s Advice Line website. This service is provided by Respect, for further details, see below.
Broken Rainbow UK is the only national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBT) charity providing support and awareness around domestic violence. For further information, call the Broken Rainbow helpline on 0300 999 5428 or alternatively call free-phone on 0800 999 5428, or see the Broken Rainbow website.
Karma Nirvana offers advice and support to people who are being forced to marry against their will or are the victims of ‘honour based’ violence. For further information, call the Karma Nirvana helpline on 0800 5999 247 or see the Karma Nirvana website.
Forced Marriage Unit
The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a joint-initiative with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office. They help to prevent forced marriages. They also work with overseas embassy staff to rescue British nationals, both male and female, who have been or are being force to marry. For further information, call the FMU helpline on 020 7008 0151, or see the government website.
Female Genital Mutilation
According to Forward, it is estimated that over 24,000 girls under the age of 15 living in the UK are at risk of undergoing the most severe form of female genital mutilation (FGM) at any one time. For further information, contact the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 0208 3550, or visit the NSPCC website.
National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)
NCDV offer a free and confidential service for people affected by domestic violence in need of civil remedies, for example, a non-molestation order of protection order. These orders are granted by a judge to prevent the perpetrators of domestic violence from continuing to harass and abuse victims. NCDV also offer an emergency injunction service. NCDV are able to undertake the work by telephone and they can help to access legal aid if this is proving difficult. For further information, call the NCDV helpline on 0844 8044 999, or see the NCDV website.
Help for perpetrators of domestic violence
The Respect Phoneline provides a confidential telephone line offering advice, information and support to help people stop being violent and abusive to their partners. Respect also run programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence who want to stop this behaviour.
Shelter is a charity specialising in housing. Their website has information for people experiencing domestic violence who want to stay in their home and on how to make it more secure. You can contact Shelter on their free adviceline: 0808 800 444.
Pharmacist Support Financial Assistance
Financial assistance towards essential expenditure in times of hardship may be provided to pharmacists and their families, preregistration trainees and pharmacy students.
If you are currently experiencing hardship, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you assess whether an application for financial assistance is the best route and discuss what other support might be available for you. We are here to listen and to help in confidence.
For more information you can contact our enquiry line on: 0808 168 2233 or use our online enquiry service.