If you need help

Photography copyright Julian Nieman for Refuge

If you are witnessing domestic violence at home

Lots of people grow up witnessing and experiencing violence and abuse. No one should feel scared of anyone at home. If you’re worried about what is going on at home, it can help to talk to someone. If there’s someone you trust, or perhaps a coach or a teacher, speak to them about your concerns.

Remember these things:

Photography copyright Julian Nieman for Refuge

  • What’s happening is not your fault
  • You don’t have to deal with it alone
  • It’s not your responsibility to protect anyone else
  • There are people who can help you cope with what is happening
  • Hitting or hurting someone is against the law – no-one has the right to hurt another person

Who can I talk to?

The policeChildlineA coach, teacher, doctor or other adult you trustEmail us
If you need help right away you should call the police. Dial 999 and ask for the police. You should give your name, address and telephone number and tell the police what is happening. Don’t hang up – if you do, the police might call back and this could give your dad, step-dad or mum’s boyfriend the chance to tell them that everything is okay and that the call was a mistake. It’s better to leave the phone off the hook so they can hear what is going on.

The police will come to your house and talk to your mum, dad or any other adults. They may even talk to you. They should make sure you are okay and have not been hurt. They may take away the person who was violent. Whatever happens you should remember that the abuse is not your fault.

If you can talk safely to someone about what you’ve experienced and witnessed, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111. You don’t have to tell them your name and the calls are free. They will listen to you, talk to you about what is happening and help you decide what to do next. And remember – in an emergency situation, call 999.
Talking to someone like a teacher, doctor or another adult you trust can help. They will want to make sure that you and your mum are safe so they might want to talk to your mum too. If they are worried that you might get hurt they may have to tell someone else. They should always tell you what they are doing and who they are planning to talk to.
If you want to contact us with any questions, please email us at nfl@refuge.org.uk.

Photography copyright Julian Nieman for Refuge

If you are concerned about a friend or family member

If you are experiencing abuse in a relationship

  • You are not alone and it is not your fault. Support is available
  • You can call the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 or visit mensadviceline.org.uk
  • The police and other agencies have a duty and responsibility to take all victims of sexual and intimate partner violence seriously
  • If you are in immediate danger call the police on 999
  • Reaching out for help and support takes great courage and shows strength – needing help doesn’t make you weak

If you are worried about your own behaviour

  • If you are worried that you might be using controlling or violent behaviour against your girlfriend, boyfriend or partner, help is out there
  • Visit respectphoneline.org.uk or call 0808 802 4040
  • If you take responsibility for your own behaviour and your own actions you can change – using violence is learned and can be unlearned
  • It shows strength to acknowledge what you are doing is wrong and decide to change