What is domestic abuse?

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • threats and intimidation
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • forced marriage
  • honour violence

The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically, just one encounter counts as abuse, and it can be an ongoing pattern of behaviour. However, the one constant element of domestic abuse is the abuser's consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the victim.

Remember, you are not to blame for what is happening. You are not alone, and above all you do not have to suffer in silence.

Domestic abuse and coronavirus

The government acknowledges that coronavirus household isolation instructions can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are.

Household isolation instructions as a result of coronavirus do not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

Where can I get help?

If you are a victim of domestic abuse there are a number of resources available to support you.

How to access a Safe Space

How to access a Safe Space

  • Walk into any participating pharmacy in the UK.
  • Ask at the healthcare counter to use their Safe Space.
  • A pharmacist will show you to the Safe Space. Which will be the consultancy room.
  • Once inside, you will find displayed specialist domestic abuse support information for you to access, to make that call or access Bright Sky safely.

Male Domestic Violence

Domestic violence against men is more commonplace than is often realised.  Official statistics and surveys reveal what some would regard as a surprisingly high proportion of women inflict physical harm as well as emotional, psychological and coercive control over their male partner. The same is true in same-sex relationships.

Support can be found here: National centre for domestic violence Call: 0800 970 2070 Text: NCDV to 60777 https://www.ncdv.org.uk/domestic-violence-against-men/

Guidance for managers

If as a manager you have concerns for an employees safety at home during lockdown, please explore ways for the employee to work safely onsite.

If an employee has confided in you that they are a victim of domestic abuse, help them to consider building their social network of support. https://safelives.org.uk/staying-safe-during-covid-19-guidance provides guidance on how to create a safety plan for the employee, this is particularly important during lockdown.

The most dangerous time for victims of domestic abuse is often when they attempt to leave. With the easing of lockdown measures many victims will start to consider escape routes. This may lead to staff making disclosures and seeking support.

If you have concerns that an employee is vulnerable, ensure there is available time to check in with them, maintaining connection to their workplace and their peer group, reducing isolation.

Our Employee Assistance Program is available 24/7 to support employees using a freephone number 0800 028 0199 or online support https://healthassuredeap.co.uk/ Username Loughborough Password University. The online app can be found here : download ‘My healthy advantage’ app from the google or play store then use the  access code MHA119084