Domestic abuse

Domestic Abuse

The Facts                                   Hide this page

Domestic abuse is the abuse of power or control over one person by another. It can be in many forms including physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, verbal and financial abuse between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members.

Domestic abuse affects all members of the family, especially children living in the household.
Anyone who is forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused.

The Risks

Domestic abuse affects a large proportion of the population. It is prevalent in every socio-economic group and occurs countywide across all neighbourhoods and communities. Research shows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, with significantly higher levels of harm being experienced by women.

Most domestic abuse is experienced by women and perpetrated by men; however a significant minority of men also experience domestic abuse. It is experienced across heterosexual, lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual relationships.

Factors that increase risks include the gender of the victim and perpetrator; the occurrence of rape and sexual assaults, stalking and controlling behaviour; the co-occurrence of child abuse; isolation and barriers to accessing services; separation; and child contact disputes.

Knowledge Zone

If it is happening to you

Realise that you are not to blame.

It can be hard to recognise or admit that you are the target of domestic abuse. Your abuser may tell you it is your fault but no victim asks for it or deserves to be abused regardless of what the victim says or does. You have the right to live with respect and safety and to put your own and your children's needs first.

If it is happening to someone you know

Victims of domestic abuse often don’t realise they are in an abusive relationship and if they do, they may feel they are to blame in some way and that there is no way out. There are many reasons why a victim may find it difficult to leave an abusive relationship. They may be worried about losing their home or their children if they seek help.

Despite what some people might think, ending an abusive relationship isn’t an easy thing to do. Victims need to know they will receive the help and support they require.

How we tackle domestic abuse and violence in Lancashire?

Our aim is to prevent harm and save lives and we believe the best way to do this is for different agencies to work together. Victims need to be protected and they may need support from a wide range of services, whilst firm action needs to be taken against offenders.

We take positive action against abusers and we can provide protection and support for all victims.

We also recognise though that abuse victims do not always want to involve the police so domestic abuse services in Lancashire respect that. So if you just need advice, someone to talk to or more, contact the domestic abuse service in your area. Details are available in the information boxes on the right hand side of this page.  

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For more information on the local initiatives in your area, please visit your local Community Safety Partnership by clicking on the links below.

Key contact

Lancashire Constabulary

Visit the Lancashire Constabulary website

Women's aid

Women's Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. It supports a network of domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.  Find out more

Counselling Directory

If you are in need of support, search the free and confidential Counselling Directory to be connected with a professional domestic abuse counsellor in your area.  Find out more

Mens advice line

The Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. This includes all men - in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Find out more

Broken rainbow

Broken Rainbow is charity dedicated to providing advice, support and referral services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence. Find out more


The Hideout is a website for children and young people produced by Women's Aid. Find out more