Abuse and Violence in Relationships or in your Home


Domestic abuse is where someone close to you (usually your spouse, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or ex) behaves in a way towards you which is damaging. “Abuse” or “violence” can be more than physical violence – it might be physical, mental, emotional, psychological, sexual, or even financial.


It’s estimated that one in four women will experience domestic abuse at some point in her life – this is a terrible statistic, but does show that if you are experiencing domestic abuse you are not alone. And men also experience domestic abuse.


If you are experiencing, or have experienced, any of the following behaviours – please, please, speak to someone. This might be a friend, a Just Ask adviser, your personal tutor or one of the organisations we list below. The important thing is that someone knows what you are going through.



  • physical attacks, such as slapping/punching, pulling hair, strangling or using weapons
  • intimidation, such as throwing and breaking things
  • humiliation, name calling or constant criticism
  • imposing unreasonable rules, curfews or ultimatums
  • controlling what you wear, who you see or how you look
  • threatening you or those close to you (including friends, children or even pets)
  • forcing you to take part in sexual acts you don’t like or don’t feel comfortable with
  • depriving you of financial independence

This list is not exhaustive! The bottom line is that no-one should make you feel hurt, ashamed or uncomfortable.


What to Do


Tell someone! Abusers thrive on isolating their victims: jus by making someone aware of what is happening to you, you take away some of their power. A Just Ask adviser can listen to you in an impartial way and help you to weigh up your options. We can also support you if your studies are suffering as a result of the abuse.


If you live with the perpetrator, Shelter has some really useful advice on what to do and what to think about.


As ever, if you think you might be in danger or need emergency assistance, call 999.


People Who Can Help


The National Domestic Violence Helpline is free, and open 24 hours a day: 0808 2000 247


ManKind offers a range of support for men experiencing domestic abuse or violence: 01823 334 244


Broken Rainbow supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic abuse or violence: 0300 999 5428.


The Student Counselling Service offers a free confidential service for students