What is abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviour on the part of the abuser designed to control his/her partner. It can happen at any point in a relationship, including after you have split up.

Anyone forced to change their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner or ex-partner’s reaction is experiencing abuse.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. However, statistics show most domestic abuse is carried out by men and experienced by women.

Domestic abuse is never the fault of the person who is experiencing it.


Spotting the signs

  • Is your partner jealous and possessive?
  • Is she or he charming one minute and abusive the next?
  • Do they tell you what to wear, where to go, who to see?
  • Do they constantly put you down?
  • Do they play mind games and make you doubt your judgment?
  • Does he/she control your money?
  • Does he/she pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?
  • Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making him angry?
  • Do they monitor or track your movements or messages?
  • Do they use anger and intimidation to frighten and control you?

If you are living in a domestic abuse situation , you are not alone.Please contact the numbers below for support. Remember this is not your fault.

Our local domestic abuse and sexual violence service, Safer Futures, can be contacted online at saferfutures.org.uk or by telephone on 0300 777 4777 (9am – 5pm, Mon – Fri).

You can also contact Cornwall Refuge Trust’s 24hr helpline on 01872 225629 for support outside of those hours.

Other services available


The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is a freephone 24 hour helpline which provides advice and support to women and can refer them to emergency accommodation. 

Women’s Aid

The Women’s Aid website provides a wide range of resources to help women and young people.

This includes The Survivor’s Handbook which provides a range of information including legal and housing advice, tips on how to create a safety plan and advice for people with specialist housing needs. It’s available in 11 languages and in audio. 

They also run a website to support to children and teenagers who may be living in a home affected by domestic violence, or who may be in a violent relationship themselves.

Website: www.womensaid.org.uk

Respect – Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. They provide emotional support and practical advice, and can give you details of specialist services that can give you advice on legal, housing, child contact, mental health and other issues.

Website: www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Respect Phoneline

Respect Phoneline offers information and advice to partners, friends and family who want to stop someone’s violent behaviour.

Website: www.respectphoneline.org.uk

Refuge provides specialist support to women, children and some men escaping domestic violence and other forms of violence.

Support for children

Protecting my children

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Website: www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk (access live chat Monday – Friday, 3pm – 10pm)

Hideout (Women’s Aid)

A web resource for children themselves. Women’s Aid have created this space to help children understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action.

Website: https://thehideout.org.uk/children/home/

Bright Sky app

Bright Sky is a mobile app and website for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or who is worried about someone else. The app can be downloaded for free via the app stores.

Launched in partnership with Vodafone, the app includes questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, and a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse.

The website is focused on how to spot the signs of domestic abuse, advice on how to support someone you have concerns for, and ways to find help.

The app is available in 5 languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi, Polish and Welsh.

Download for android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.newtonmobile.hestia&hl=en_GB&gl=US

Download for iOs: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/bright-sky/id1105880511

Supporting your child with domestic violence (Young Minds)

Website: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-guide-to-support-a-z/parents-guide-to-support-domestic-violence/