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You are here:home > Living > Safer Southampton > Domestic Violence > Domestic Violence Advice

Domestic Violence Advice

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In an emergency always dial 999.

Domestic violence affects people of every class, age, race, disability, gender and sexuality. The violence can begin at any stage of a relationship and may continue after the relationship has ended. Children are often at risk of harm in families affected by domestic violence – whether from being abused directly or from what they witness.

The violence may involve:

  • physical abuse

  • sexual assault and threats

  • making someone feel worthless

  • not letting them have any money

  • not allowing them to leave home

On this page you will find information and advice on what to do if you are a victim of domestic violence.

If you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this page, please follow the 'Keeping yourself safe' link below.

Advice and information

1. Effects of violence on your children

Here are some examples of how children can be affected by domestic violence:

  • children can be physically abused

  • witnessing the violence can be damaging

  • children may try to protect the adult victim, which puts them in danger

  • children can copy violent behaviour, both as children and as adults

  • they can develop stress-related illnesses

  • they can lose confidence, be afraid and angry, and blame themselves for events.

2. Keeping your child safe

You may be concerned that asking for help will lead to your children being taken into care. This is very rare and only happens in the most serious cases. It’s important to take action to protect yourself and your children. Talk to your children about how they feel and get support. Call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247), or any of the other services listed at the foot of this page.

3. Risk of further violence

You may be frightened that if you seek help the violence will get worse. The Family Law Act 1996 provides protection for victims of domestic violence and their children. You have the right to be protected and live in a safe environment with your children – and there are services, like refuges, that can help you do so.

4. Further advice and information

National Domestic Violence Helpline
A 24-hour freephone number which provides access to emergency refuge accommodation, as well as an information service. It joins together the Women's Aid Federation helpline and the Refuge National Crisis Line in a single service.

Tel: 0808 2000 247

Women's Aid Helpline
Advocates on behalf of abused women and children and provides services and support including refuge accommodation.

Tel: 0808 2000 247 | Website:

The Hideout
The Hideout is the first national website to support children and young people living with domestic violence as well as those who may want to help a friend. The site informs children and young people about domestic violence and helps them identify whether it is happening in their home.


Refuge Helpline
Refuge is the UK's largest single provider of safe accommodation and support to women and children escaping domestic violence.

Tel: 0808 2000 247 | Website:

M.A.L.E (Men's Advice Line Enquiries) Helpline
A helpline service for men experiencing domestic violence. Open 10 am - 9 pm on Mondays, 10 am - 5pm from Tuesday to Thursday. A confidential 24-hour answerphone service is available at all other times.

Tel: 0845 064 6800 

NSPCC Helpline
Our 24 hour, seven day a week, free helpline. We are here to help. Advice also available in Bengali, Gujurati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh.

Tel: 0808 800 5000 | Email:

Downloadable documents

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PDF document Keeping yourself safe 25 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
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