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Supporting survivors of domestic abuse

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In this section

What is domestic abuse?
Types of domestic abuse
How to report domestic abuse
How can we help 
Keeping you informed
Support services


Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate (including former) partners or family members (includes parents, siblings, grandparents, in-laws and step family) regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

This definition includes honour-based violence and abuse (HBV), female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically, just one encounter counts as abuse, and it can be an ongoing pattern of behaviour. However, the one constant element of domestic abuse is the abuser's consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the victim.

Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality or social background. If you are suffering from physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse, or are being threatened, intimidated or stalked by a current or previous partner or close family member, it’s likely you’re a victim of domestic abuse.

You may be feeling frightened, isolated, ashamed or confused. If you have children it may be that they too are suffering, whether they witness abuse or not.

Remember, you are not to blame for what is happening. You are not alone, and above all you do not have to suffer in silence.

If you live in Nottinghamshire, you can find out if your partner has a violent past thanks to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. 

Bright Sky App: A free to download app providing support and information to those affected by Domestic Abuse, available in 5 languages, has a unique directory of support services and links of further resources including a journal which you can record incidents.

Hollie Guard App
: Safeguarding people- a simple shake or tap activates Hollie guard, immediately notifying your chosen contacts, pinpointing your location and sending audio and video evidence directly to their mobile phones.


Coercive behaviour is an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.


There is no legal definition of stalking; however in order to differentiate between stalking and harassment - which both require a course of conduct - the course of conduct has to amount to harassment and that particular harassment can be described as stalking behaviour.  The below are some examples of stalking behaviour:

  • Following a person
  • Contacting or attempting to contact a person by any means
  • Publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, or purporting to originate from a person
  • Monitoring the use by a person on the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication
  • Loitering in an place (whether public or private)
  • Interfering with any property in possession of a person
  • Watching or spying on a person


Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. The police have the power and authority to protect you from physical attack.

Sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence.


If someone has access to your computer, they may be able to read your incoming and outgoing mail/messages. To ensure your account is secure, always log out after use and choose a password that an abuser won’t be able to guess.

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing messages, this can be reported as either domestic abuse or even a hate crime. Please print and save the emails/messages as evidence and get in touch in one of these ways:

For an immediate response call 999 now. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service.

Police non-emergency number 101

Visit your local police station 


Men can experience domestic abuse from a partner or former partner in heterosexual or same sex relationships.  Men can also be abused by family members: adult children, siblings or others.

Family abuse against men includes honour based abuse such as Force marriage.

Domestic abuse is often discussed as a women’s issue, because the majority of Domestic Abuse is experience by women (and perpetrated by men).  However domestic abuse also happens to lots of men.

Men who experience domestic abuse are not to blame, no matter what the perpetrator of the abuse may say.  Men who are being abused may feel ashamed or afraid of judgment by others, but it doesn’t make a man “weak” or less “manly” if they experience abuse.   Domestic abuse is always a choice by the perpetrator. 

Men and women have the same rights to protection from domestic abuse.


If you're a victim/survivor of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there's an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call 999 now. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, in an emergency text 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service. For non-emergency text 07910 336850.

If you need urgent police help through the 999 service but can’t speak use Silent Solution

In non-emergency cases and for general advice, please call 101. 


Our officers will make sure that you're dealt with respectfully and spoken to away from the person responsible for the abuse. If you've been physically injured, it’s important that your injuries are examined by a doctor, we can arrange medical care, if necessary.  

Initially a Uniform Officer will attend wherever you are. The Officer will ask you what has happened,  and  may activate Body worn video,  to capture what you say and record any evidence of injuries/disturbance.

The Officer will then ask a series of questions on a list, which is used in order to identify the level of risk you are under.  It also assists in providing appropriate safeguarding of yourself and any children or other vulnerable people within your home.

The Officer will also ask you to provide an evidential statement which you will be asked to sign on completion.  The Officer will explain what happens when you provide this statement and it is your choice if wish to provide one or not.  We understand that at the time the Officer attends things are very stressful and upsetting, however, in order to try and build a case against the perpetrator, this statement is the best evidence.

We understand there are many reasons why you may wish not to provide a statement, and we will do our best to reassure you and talk things through.  However in these cases, the Police may look to build a case against the perpetrator by using other evidence collated during an investigation.  This is called an Evidence Led Prosecution.


We'll stay in contact with you and see you through the whole investigation. Our aim is to contact you within 24 hours of you reporting the offence to let you know what’s happening.

All crimes of Domestic Abuse will have an investigating officer . This Officer will act as your single point of contact during the investigation, answering any of your questions and keeping you updated. 

In some cases, victims/survivors of domestic abuse wish to seek refuge away from their home address.  The Police will work with partner agencies in order to assist you with this.

If you wish to remain in your home, it may be that we serve a domestic violence protection order (DVPO), which means that a perpetrator can be ‘banned’ with immediate effect from returning to your home and having contact with you for up to 28 days.

For advice regarding a longer-term injunction, counselling or support we can signpost you to partner agencies.

If you need to attend court for any reason there are also support services available so that you don't feel overwhelmed or alienated by the legal process

You can also contact these support services: