Domestic Abuse

This page offers information about the services we offer relating to domestic abuse.

Here you will find information on how to help if you believe someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse.

If you suspect or know someone is affected by domestic violence you should approach this sensitively and, if a disclosure is made, explain to them that:
  • you will support them in any way you can, but be honest about your level of experience and refer to appropriate agencies who can offer a more appropriate level of support
  • inform them there are fully trained people who will understand their situation, and be able to help them
  • you will keep this information confidential, unless there is a statutory responsibility to safeguard children or vulnerable adults at risk, or others who may be at risk of significant harm or death
  • they are not alone. This is a significant hidden harm for many people. One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse at some stage in their lives
  • it is not their fault
  • you will listen to them and take them seriously
  • you will be there for them, regardless of their decisions
  • you will not judge them
  • you will help them find support and advice
  • you will not try to intervene
  • you will respect their need to be secretive, unless there is risk of significant harm or death
  • You do not expect them simply to  leave, because:
    • they may need help to leave
    • they may not want to leave
    • they may want the abuser to leave
It is important, when obtaining the contact details of a victim, any telephone numbers or addresses they provide are a safe means of contact. Whatever the circumstances, do not put yourself in a dangerous position and be careful not to endanger them further.
A list of local and national support agencies can be found on the pages below.

Further information can be provided by the Northumberland & North Tyneside Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Coordinator on 01670 622 724 or email.
Female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights and comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of female genitalia, or any other injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

This section gives you information and contact details regarding forced marriage and honour-based violence.

There is a clear distinction between a forced and an arranged marriage.

In arranged marriages, the family of both spouses take leading roles in arrangements, but the choice of whether to accept or not, remains with the prospective spouses.

In forced marriage, one or both spouses do not – or in the case of some vulnerable adults, cannot – consent to the marriage and duress is involved. This can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.

All practitioners working with victims of forced marriage need to be aware of the ‘once chance’ rule. That is, they may only have one chance to speak to a potential victim, and thus only one chance to save a life.

This means practitioners need to be aware of their responsibilities and obligations when they come across forced marriage cases. If a victim is allowed to leave without support, their chance may be lost.

Regardless of circumstances, victims have rights that should always be respected, such as safety and accurate information about their rights and choices. Practitioners should listen to and respect the wishes of the victim.

Disclosures of forced marriage should not be dismissed as a domestic issue. For many, seeking help is a last resort and therefore all disclosures should be taken seriously. Involving families in the case of forced marriages may increase the risk of serious harm to a victim.
The term ‘honour crime’ or ‘honour-based violence’ embraces a variety of crimes – mainly, but not exclusively against women. This includes assault, imprisonment and murder where their family or community are punishing the victim.

They are being punished for undermining what the family/community believes to be the correct code of behaviour. In transgressing this, the victim shows they have not been properly controlled to conform and this is to be the ‘shame’ or ‘dishonour’ of the family.

Forced Marriage Unit
The government has set up the Forced Marriage Unit to provide practical support, information and advice. This is a joint initiative between the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Home Office.

Forced marriage multi-agency practice guidelines
The unit has published a revised set of practice guidelines to help frontline professionals work more closely together and to better identify/protect children and adults at risk. Karma Nirvana
Established in 1993, Karma Nirvana has developed from a local project to an international project in relation to forced marriage and honour-based violence. Karma Nirvana supports women, men and couples. Honour Network is a project designed to support victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour-based violence. Choice
A helpline, established by Cleveland Police, now includes Northumbria Police and Durham Constabulary and consists of specially trained staff. Advice/support can be obtained in relation to forced marriage and honour-based violence.
  • Telephone: 0800 5999 365
Here you will find practical advice for people fleeing domestic abuse.

If a victim is thinking about leaving, they need to take with them:
  • money, credit cards
  • emergency numbers
  • any ID, birth and marriage certificates, driving licence, bankbooks, rent book, court orders/injunctions
  • house/car/office keys
  • passport/visa/work permit
  • address book
  • any medication
  • children’s favourite toy
  • change of clothes and toiletries
  • mobile phone and charger
You may want to leave an emergency bag with a trusted friend, relative or support agency.

Click here to view the Domestic Abuse Support Service Safety Planning Leaflet for further information.
There are many reasons why people stay in, or return to, abusive relationships. Here is a list of some of those reasons.

Emotional difficulties
  • Power - The coercive and controlling behaviour of the perpetrator of the abuse can be a factor.
  • Fear of partner - People are often terrified of being found by their abusers. Experience shows this fear is justified. Abusers will go to extraordinary lengths to trace their victims.
  • Fear of living alone - They may have been kept in isolation and feel they have no friends, or have been denied contact with their family. They may have been totally controlled and do not know how to cope alone.
  • Lack of self-respect/confidence - They may have come to believe all the names they have been called and therefore feel worthless.
  • Guilt - They may have been told it is their own fault, they have provoked him/her and therefore they get what they deserve.
  • Drugs/alcohol - Either of these can be used as a means of control.
  • Love - It is perfectly possible to love someone, but hate what they do. They may want the abuse to stop, but not the relationship.
  • Hope - Victims are often optimistic and want to believe the abuser when they say they won’t do it again.
Practical difficulties
  • Money - They may have no money of their own and no idea they are entitled to benefits.
  • Accommodation - Where will they go? Even if they know their way around the ‘system’, the prospect of moving to a refuge of B&B can be daunting.
  • Possessions - They may have to leave absolutely everything behind in the knowledge they are unlikely to see any of it again.
  • Children - They may feel guilty about uprooting their children from school, friends, family, pets and their other parents, with who they might have a good relationship. They may also fear the children may be taken away from them if they disclose domestic abuse.
  • Skills - If they have been controlled, given no money, clothes or social contacts, or more generally, no access to the public world, they may not know how to leave.

 

Here you will find useful Northumberland contact details for domestic violence, abuse, sexual abuse and safeguarding issues.

NDAS is a registered charity providing comprehensive support to those affected by or experiencing Domestic Abuse living in Northumberland. We provide services to women, men, young people, older people, people with disabilities, gay, straight, bi, lesbian and trans, our services are inclusive and non-discriminatory.
 
We offer a free and confidential service, providing emotional and practical, working closely in partnership with other specialist local organisations.  
 
We have services for:
  • Women aged 26 years and over
  • Young women aged 16 to 25 years
  • Men and boys aged 16 years and over
  • CADAN Project for children of our Service Users up to the age of 16 years  
We provide training on Abusive Relationships, Young People Affected by Intimate Partner Violence and Session Planning to other organisations. We provide awareness and prevention group work programmes and activites in schools, colleges and also within youth and community settings.
 
Our aim is to protect and empower all our service users by providing flexible and professional support throughout Northumberland.
Grace is part of Rape Crisis Tyneside Northumberland and supports women and girls aged 13 upwards who have experienced any kind of sexual violence at any time in their lives. Their services are for all women and girls; this includes those who identify as Lesbian, Bi, Trans and/or Queer and black and minority ethnic women and girls.  Also, refugees and those seeking asylum, and disabled women and girls as well as those with additional learning needs.

There are many forms of sexual violence including: rape, sexual assault, on-line sexual abuse, sending sexual images without consent, stalking, partner and stranger sexual abuse. Grace supports women and girls whether the abuse they experienced was recent or historic.

Offering:
  • Counselling; from women counsellors who are accredited by the BACP. There are a number of confidential outreach bases across Northumberland where counselling takes place.
  • Practical and Emotional support; specialising in supporting women and girls to navigate the criminal justice process and also offering support with housing, finances, employment, education, health, or just having someone to talk to who can provide reassurance and encouragement.
  • Telephone: 0191 222 0272 (General Enquiries & Referrals)
  • Helpline & Email Support: 0800 035 2794 or emailsupport@rctn.org.uk (Mon, Tues, Wed & Thurs 6pm - 8:30pm and Fri 11am - 2pm)
  • Website: http://www.gracenrc.org.uk/
The Domestic Abuse Support Service in Northumberland is a fully integrated service with a single point of contact available 24 hours a day. 

Providing confidential, high quality specialist support and advice for women and men who are at risk of domestic abuse..

Advice about the services, including support with domestic abuse, can be accessed through the triage service by calling the confidential phone line available any time day or night.
REACH provides rape examination, advice, counselling and help. There are two centres, one in Newcastle and the other in Sunderland.
This website offers general advice about community safety in Northumberland, information about campaigns and links to other service providers.
The trust supports vulnerable adults who are being abused by the following means:
  • emotional abuse such as humiliation, harassment, social isolation, threats, verbal abuse and intimidation
  • neglect, where a person suffers because their health or physical needs are being neglected by a care giver
  • financial abuse, including theft, fraud or using a vulnerable adult’s property without permission
  • physical abuse, such as hitting, pushing, shaking, not giving the right medication and bodily neglect
  • sexual abuse, where a vulnerable adult cannot or does not give their consent, or sexual harrassment
Further information and support can be found on the website or by calling 01670 536400 during office hours or 0345 6005252 out of office hours.
We all have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. Northumberland safeguarding children board has developed this website to provide easily accessible and up-to-date safeguarding information for professionals, children and young people, families and members of the public.

The site also provides some information on a range of safeguarding issues for parents and carers and children and young people in Northumberland. We provide links to the websites of other organisations where we know more advice on specific subjects is available.
Emergency: If a child is in immediate danger or left alone, you should contact the police or call an ambulance on 999.

You can report abuse and neglect by completing the forms at the links below, or use the numbers below:
 
 
 
 
 
Non-emergency: If this is a new contact then please ring:-

Onecall : 01670 536400
 
If you know a child already has a social worker then contact the social worker's telephone number, or if unavailable ring Onecall
 
For the 14+ Team please ring 01670 622930
 
Early Help Assessments

To make a referral to the Early Help Hubs please send your referral to :- earlyinterventionhub@northumberland.gov.uk   
For enquiries about completion or registrations of Early Help Assessments please contact Onecall01670 536400
Below are contact details for useful support services that exist in our region.

Victims First Northumbria is an independent and free victim referral service. We put the victim at the heart of everything we do. We ensure victims of crime, whether referred by police, another agency, or self-referrals are contacted by a co-ordinator, who will give them help and support to cope and recover.

Being a victim of a crime can be traumatic and Victims First understands everyone’s differing needs and situations, always giving the best possible support, care and advice.
MESMAC is a gay/bisexual men’s health project offering free HIV tests, advice and information on many different health issues including PEP (exposure to HIV treatment), counselling, sexual health services, sexually transmitted infections and much more. We also provide services such as group helplines and a drop-in service.

Our services are:
  • open to all gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, including those who are unsure if they’re gay or bisexual
  • for men who are HIV positive, negative or don’t know
  • confidential
Telephone: 0191 233 1333 (Monday to Friday 1pm - 5pm)
Website: http://mesmacnewcastle.com/
Listed below are a number of national organisations who help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, as well as safeguarding those who are vulnerable.

The 24-hour free phone national domestic violence helpline runs in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge and is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence. Family, friends, colleagues and others may call on their behalf.
The national stalking network has been established by Network for Surviving Stalking, Protection against Stalking and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. It is the first national helpline to specialise in providing information and advice to victims of harassment and stalking as well as their friends and family.
Women’s Aid have created this space to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action.
Mankind is the UK’s leading charity for supporting male victims of abuse.
Broken Rainbow provides the national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic violence.
This free phone helpline is for both female and male survivors, partners, friends and family. It is open from noon to 2pm and 7pm to 9.30pm every day of the year.
If you are a man who is worried about your behaviour towards your partner, or if you have been abusive or violent, you can get information from the respect phone line.