What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is when one person hurts or bullies another person who is or was their partner, or who is in the same family.
Domestic abuse can happen between people who are in any kind of relationship together, they could be married, going out together, or members of the same family.
It can happen between people who live together or who live in separate houses. Usually (but not always) it is the man who hurts the woman. Although domestic abuse happens between grown ups and older teenagers (over 16 years old), children can be affected by the abuse that they see and hear. They can also be hurt or bullied as part of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse can be:
Physical – for example, hitting, pushing, kicking
Emotional – sayings things to frighten the other person or make them feel bad
Sexual – making someone do sexual things that they don’t want to
Financial – such as not letting them have any money, or not letting them get a job
Domestic abuse is a repeated pattern of behaviour. People use domestic abuse to control other people. If this is happening in your home, remember it’s not your fault!
Domestic abuse happens in many families and there are people that can help you and your family. Everyone has the right to be and feel safe. Remember that you are not alone!
Teenage relationship advice
A recent NSPCC survey showed that a quarter of girls and 18 per cent of boys have experienced physical violence in a relationship.
Abuse in teen relationships doesn’t just cover physical violence. Other examples of this type of abuse include:
pressuring a partner into having sex
unnecessary jealousy or anger
Remember that abuse in a relationship is never okay. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect from their partner or family members.
What can I do?
If domestic abuse is happening at home, you probably want it to stop and for things to be better. The first thing you can do is to tell someone what is going on. You might be able to talk to the person who is being hurt. If not, you could talk to a teacher, a neighbour, a friend or a friend’s parents for starters.
You can also call the British Forces Social Work Service, Central Referral Team – they will be able to help you to decide what kind of help you may need and where you can get that help.
Remember if you are experiencing domestic abuse, it is not your fault. You won’t get into trouble for telling someone.
If people are fighting, should I stop them?
If there is fighting in your home, it’s important that you stay safe. Sometimes you might feel like you have to stop the fight and protect the person who’s being hurt. This can be very dangerous and you may get hurt yourself.
If you are scared when there is a fight, you can always call your local RMP and ask for help – they will come to your house at any time of the day.
Who will help me and my family?
In an emergency, for example if there is a fight, you should always call the RMP BFG CRIMELINE on 0800 184 2222.
At any time, the person who is being abused can get help. There are support services that can help you and the person who is being hurt to stay safe. Call the British Forces Social Work Services Central Referral Team on 0800 7243176 to find out what services there are to help you.
If someone in your house is being abused and it is too dangerous to stay at home, you and your brothers and sisters could go with them to a safe house where you can escape the abuse. You can stay there until things can be sorted for you and your family to go back home safely or until you find a new home.
Sometimes abusive people want to change their behaviour and stop being abusive, and there is help for them too. They can learn to understand that what they are doing is wrong and how to make the changes they need to make things better at home.
Why don’t they just leave?
There are many reasons why someone might stay in an abusive relationship. Sometimes:
They don’t know where else to go.
They may love their partner.
They hope things will change and the abuse will stop.
They don’t want to take their children away from the other parent.
They don’t have the money to leave.
They don’t feel strong enough to leave.
Just like you might feel mixed-up about what is happening, the person being abused might also feel confused about what to do. If you have questions about what’s going on, don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust.
Life at home is so horrible, would it be better if I just ran away?
If you feel like running away, things must be hard for you right now. Call a helpline like British Forces Social Work Service Central Referral Team on 0800 7243176 or try to talk to someone you trust. Maybe you could arrange to go to their place for a bit or somewhere else you know is safe. Running away can be dangerous because it can be difficult to find somewhere safe to stay. It’s important to try and get help before things go that far.
If you have run away or been forced to leave home, you can go to the police or social work services. You won’t be in trouble, but they will want to make sure you’re safe. There are people who will listen to you and can help you get a safe place
Contacts and Useful Links
If there is an emergency, always call:
Royal Military Police BFG CRIMELINE - 0800 184 2222
Or, If you are worried about Domestic Abuse, and would like to talk to someone about what you can do, Contact:
British Forces Social Work Service, Central Referral Team - 0800 7243176
Websites where you can you can find more information about Domestic Abuse:
- The UK Government: Directgov
National Centre for Domestic Violence
- Womens Aid