Domestic Violence

For urgent help 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline: 0808 2000 247

In an emergency, always call 999

What is domestic violence?

Getting Help

You do have options

  • stay in the present home and get the perpetrator of the violence to leave
  • take legal action.
  • stay at home if you think this is safe
  • stay with relatives or friends
  • stay in a women’s refuge. This is only an option for women (with or without children)
  • get emergency accommodation from the local authority under homeless persons law - this will usually mean a bed and breakfast hostel
  • move into privately rented accommodation

Women’s Aid Refuges are safe houses run by and for women suffering domestic violence. Refuges provide somewhere safe for women and their children to stay and allow some time and space for the woman to think about what to do next.

Staff at refuges are specialised in dealing with domestic violence, and so can give a lot of emotional and practical support, for example, advice on benefit claims, which solicitors to use and, if necessary, how to contact the police.

Refuges can provide safe space, as well as practical and emotional support. They all differ and offer varying levels of support. It is usual to be referred by an agency such as Citizens Advice, Police, Samaritans or Social Services.

Domestic violence is behaviour by an adult towards another (usually partner or spouse) that is controlling and forceful.

It can be:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional abuse.

It can happen to anyone, in all kinds of relationships - heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender regardless of class, age, race, disability. The abuse can start at any time - in new relationships or after many years together.

All forms of abuse come from the abuser's desire for power and control.

Children are profoundly affected by domestic violence. Whatever the abuse, you do not have to put up with it. We are here to help and advise you.

Getting the facts

If you want more online information you can visit Citizens Advice website

What Support is there?


In an emergency ring 999, otherwise 101 for a non-emergency

The police have specially trained staff to help people experiencing domestic violence. They work closely with other organisations offering help and support. Their aim is to ensure the violence does not happen again.


If you take legal action to protect yourself or your family from domestic violence, you may qualify for legal aid without having to meet the normal financial conditions.

Stop Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0330 016 5112

Provide services to those affected by domestic abuse. Their work includes protecting and work with victims, help for perpetrators, work with the police and many other organisations.

Refuge’s specialist services include refuges, independent advocacy, community outreach projects, culturally specific services .

Free 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline. 0808 2000 247

A Portsmouth based organisation, working with adults and young people who have been sexually violated at any time in their lives no matter how long ago, and also the parents & carers of people under 18 who have been sexually abused and partners of people who have been adults who have experienced sexual abuse at any time in their life .

  • Telephone - 02392 669513
  • Young Persons Service - 02392 669519

Yellow Door (formerly Southampton Rape Crisis Centre)

Provides support and counselling to anyone over 16 who has suffered any sexual abuse or assault, however long ago.

Tel: Southampton - 023 8063 6312

Hampshire's Sexual Assault Referral Centre based in Cosham. Treetops' 24 hour number is 0300 123 6616. They provide information, support and can refer you for appropriate help. They can also carry out forensic medical examinations.

Can support you in dealing with the emotional and practical difficulties involved in domestic violence. They can also support you at court if needed.

Support line: 0808 178 1641 - available 8am - 8pm Monday - Saturday

Alternatively, you can also contact us on live chat to find out how we can help. Live chat is available 24/7.

If you need support outside of our opening hours, please call our Supportline for free on 0808 168 9111

Free and confidential phone 0800 1111

A free, private and confidential service where anyone udner 19 years old can talk about anything.

Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night. You can talk to us:

If you have concerns about a child's safety and wellbeing, including a child in your family, you can use this form to tell the NSPCC helpline.

Freephone 0808 800 5000 Email: