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    Domestic Abuse Help

    Domestic Abuse Help

    Many national organisations exist to offer domestic abuse help to you, whether as a victim, survivor, perpetrator or someone concerned about a person you know. But if you are in immediate danger, you should call the police on 999. It may also be possible to seek advice from your doctor, health visitor or midwife.

    We have compiled a non exhaustive list of national support agencies and organisations available to you.

    National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)

    Specialises in offering a free, fast emergency court injunction service to survivors of domestic abuse and violence whatever your financial circumstances

    To contact the NCDV call 0207 186 8270 or 0800 970 2070 (and press Option 1)

    Text: ‘NCDV’ to 60777

    Fax 020 7160 9383

    Email: [email protected] (for general enquiries)

    National Domestic Abuse Helpline

    One of the services offered by Refuge, a female adviser will listen to you in confidence, empower you to understand your options and support you in making decisions about the future. The adviser can help you find a refuge place or other specialist services.

    The free National Domestic Abuse Helpline is available 24 hours a day, all-year-round on: 0808 2000 247.

    Online chat is available Monday to Fridays, between 3pm and 6pm.

    Email: via a contact form on its website or that of Refuge.

    ManKind Initiative

    The ManKind Initiative offers support to male victims, to enable them and any children to escape from the domestic abuse. The charity, which is funded by donations from the public, runs a national helpline with a trained team providing practical advice, information, signposting and emotional support to victims or concerned friends, family members and work colleagues.

    ManKind offers a one-day training course and other support services for professionals who support men enduring domestic abuse.

    For confidential help, male victims of domestic abuse should call: 01823 334244

    Further information is available on ManKind’s website.


    Runs refuges providing emergency temporary accommodation for women and children fleeing abuse, as well as supporting women in their homes or in a safe place elsewhere. Has domestic violence advocates to help women through the justice system by helping them give statements, attend court safely or testify against the perpetrator.

    A range of contact options are given on Refuge’s website.

    Women's Aid

    A federation of more than 180 organisations providing almost 300 local services to women and children. Women’s Aid places great emphasis on helping you understand and respond effectively to domestic abuse. It has published the free Survivor’s Handbook to provide information for women on housing, money, help with children and legal rights and other issues. Women’s Aid also conducts research to “lead the way” in evidence and data on domestic abuse.

    For information and support, email [email protected] or search the Domestic Abuse Directory for your local domestic abuse service.

    For other contact options, including links to sister federations in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, go to the Women’s Aid website.

    Rights of Women

    This organisation’s prime role in the field of domestic help abuse is to provide women with the legal advice and information they need to understand and use the law within their legal rights. Rights of Women requests you telephone for legal advice as it cannot give it by email, face-to-face or in writing.

    For family law, the number for London residents is: 020 7608 1137.

    The number for women in England and Wales is: 020 7251 6577.

    For criminal law advice, women throughout England and Wales should call: 020 7251 8887.

    Should you wish to email or write, the contact details are:

    Email: [email protected]

    More contact information, including line opening times, is given on the Rights of Women website.


    Dedicated to ending domestic abuse, SafeLives provides research, training and support to frontline domestic abuse services and professionals. The organisation also promotes programmes to help perpetrators change their behaviour.

    General enquiries, call 0117 403 3220 or email [email protected]

    Other contact options are given on SafeLives’ website.

    Victim Support
    An independent charity, Victim Support provides free confidential support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if you have been affected by crime and traumatic events, including domestic abuse and violence. The organisation aims to help you cope and recover from your awful experiences, however long ago they occurred and regardless of whether you have told the police or anyone else about the abuse. The charity has independent domestic violence advocates (IDVAs), supported by specialist volunteers, who help you to decide what action you want to take. They often support survivors through the criminal justice system. Victim Support, which tailors its services to meet local needs, also runs domestic abuse outreach services to provide practical and emotional support and co-ordinate support from the health, police, hospitals and other community services. The charity’s free, year-round support line for victims in England and Wales is: 0808 1689 111. The Victims’ Information Service is also free and on: 0808 1689 293. You can find the contact for your nearest Victim Support team, and links for help in Scotland and Northern Ireland, on Victim Support’s website. Live chat, online support and other resources are also available on Victim Support’s website.
    Respect - perpetrators

    This domestic abuse help service is for perpetrators and those supporting them. Advisors on the Respect Phoneline will listen to you without judgement and are available to offer confidential and honest advice to help you – or the person you are supporting – to stop being violent.

    The free help line is: 0808 8024 040.

    Respect also offers a webchat service and email support via the charity’s website.

    Respect - male victims

    Respect also runs a Men’s Advice Line to offer domestic abuse help to male victims, with a focus on increasing their safety and that of their children (if any). The charity’s advisors will listen to you, and can give non-judgemental, confidential support, practical advice and information about services which will help you.

    The advisors also take calls from frontline workers, and concerned friends and family members supporting male victims.

    The free advice line is: 0808 8010 327.

    The helpline is backed up by email and webchat services.

    Full information is available on the Men’s Advice Line.


    Galop exists to help those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-plus (LGBT+) suffering domestic abuse, or biphobia, homophobia, transphobia or sexual violence. The independent group offers a safe space to talk – anonymously if you wish – and explore your options, including plans to make you safer.

    The charity pledges it will never pressure you into taking any action you are uncomfortable with, but is also prepared to act on your behalf and try its hardest to achieve the outcome you want. It will also support you through the criminal justice system, including compensation claims.

    The free domestic abuse helpline is: 0800 9995 428.

    Email: [email protected]

    Online services and other information can be found on Galop’s website.

    By Fiona Bawden, Times Online (8th May 2007)

    “Steve Connor, a student at City Law School, is a man on a mission. Six years ago he was a fairly directionless 27-year-old. Today, as well as taking the Bar Vocational Course, he is chairman of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, a ground-breaking organisation that he dragged into existence after a friend could not get legal help to protect her from an abusive partner.

    Connor’s route to the Bar has been circuitous. In 2001 he returned from a year in Australia (he says that he would not dignify describing it as a gap year), and took a job as a process server in South London. The job (“I just saw it advertised in the paper”) was not quite as dull as it sounds. On one occasion he was threatened with a machete, on another, he was nearly stabbed by a man he had arranged to meet on Clapham Common to serve with a non-molestation order: “He’d seemed really friendly on the phone…”

    The turning point in his life came when a friend, who was being abused by her partner, turned to him for support. Connor went with her to the police. She did not want to press criminal charges so the police suggested that she visit a solicitor to take out a civil injunction. “We must have seen 12 solicitors in a morning. We just went from one to the next to the next to the next. Everyone was very eager to help until we sat down to fill in the forms for the legal aid means test,” he says. The woman, who had a small child, did not qualify for public funding. But, Connor says, her financial situation as it appeared on paper did not bear any relation to her financial situation in reality. “She had a part-time job and she and her partner owned their home. Yet she didn’t have any money. Her boyfriend was very controlling and controlled all the money; he kept the chequebooks and didn’t let her have access to the bank account.”

    The injustice of the situation got under Connor’s skin. “I just couldn’t believe that there was no help available to people who did not qualify for public funds but could not afford to pay.

    I just kept feeling that this must be able to be sorted if only someone would address it.”That “someone” turned out to be him.

    In 2002, thanks entirely to Connor’s doggedness, the London Centre for Domestic Violence was formed. It started out with him and a friend, but is now a national organisation, covering 27 counties, and has helped approximately 10,000 victims last year to take out injunctions against their partners.

    NCDV now has nine full-time staff, 12 permanent volunteers and has trained over 5000 law and other students as McKenzie Friends to accompany unrepresented victims into court. We have also trained over 8000 police officers in civil remedies available regarding domestic violence. The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) has branches in London, Guildford and Manchester and is on track to have branches in 16 areas within the next two years.

    NCDV specialises exclusively in domestic violence work and could be characterised as a cross between McDonald’s and Claims Direct. The high degree of specialisation means that its processes are streamlined: clients can be seen quickly and the work is done speedily and cheaply. “Sometimes, we will have one of our trained McKenzie Friends at a court doing 10 applications in one day,” Connor says.

    Clients are not charged for the service. NCDV staff take an initial statement: clients who qualify for legal aid are referred to a local firm; those that don’t get free help from the centre itself. It runs on a shoestring, heavily reliant on volunteers and capping staff salaries at £18,000 a year.

    Steve expects to qualify as a barrister this summer and hopes that having a formal legal qualification will give the centre added clout. “We are already acknowledged as experts and consulted at a high level, so I thought it would be helpful if I could back that up by being able to say I’m a barrister,” he says. He is just about to complete a one-year full-time BVC course at the City Law School (formerly the Inns of Court Law School) and, all being well, should be called to the Bar in July. Although Connor sees his long-term future as a barrister, he says that he has no immediate plans to practise. “I want to get NCDV running on a fully national level. Then I may take a step back and have a career at the Bar.”