Domestic abuse is a crime and affects the quality of life of victims, their family and their friends. It can also affect a person’s home. This page explains how you can get help and support if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
Here at Longhurst Group, we are proud to have signed up to a national campaign to help tackle domestic abuse in our communities across the Midlands and East of England.
The Make a Stand campaign centres around a pledge which has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA). It consists of four commitments which housing organisations can make to support people that live and work in housing who are experiencing domestic abuse.
Questions and answers
What is domestic abuse and am I a victim?
Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
By abuse, this can include, but is not limited to:
Psychological: Making you feel devalued and afraid. For example, if you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) threatening to ‘out’ you to your family
Physical: Kicking, punching and restraining
Sexual: Rape, making you do things you don’t want to do, preventing you from practicing safe sex
Financial: Taking your money and/or controlling your money
Emotional: Making you feel unhappy
It also includes controlling behaviour, such as isolating you from family and friends and coercive control, which includes a pattern of behaviour to frighten or humiliate you.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their gender or sexuality. At Longhurst Group, we understand that it can be very difficult to take the first steps to get help. If you are more comfortable, we can offer you the opportunity to speak to someone of the same gender or sexuality.
We will support you to get the help you need and make sure you are not in any danger. We can give you advice and support and work with other organisations to make sure you get all the support you need.
What should I do if I need help?
If you’re in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.
If you’re unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set.
Call 999 from a mobile
If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police.
Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.
Call 999 from a landline
If only background noise can be heard and operators can’t decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you’ll be connected to a police call handler.
If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.
When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.
If you’re deaf or can’t verbally communicate
You can register with the emergency SMS service. Text REGISTER to 999. You’ll get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you’re in danger.
What can Longhurst Group do for people experiencing domestic abuse?
We are committed to acting quickly, effectively and sympathetically to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse.
- Keep to all of our responsibilities to you as a customer
- Offer you support and advice from our Housing Officers
- Give you emotional support and practical help and advice
- Be sensitive and understanding when we discuss your housing options
- Work with government, voluntary and other organisations to give you support when you need it
- React quickly and effectively to make sure you are safe
- Pursue relevant action against those who are responsible for domestic abuse using the conditions of our Tenancy Agreements, if you agree
- Our Support Coordinators can give you emotional support and practical help and advice with your tenancy and other issues.
- For more information give your local office a call or pop in.
What if I want to stay in my home?
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and want to stay in your current home, our teams will give you support and advice on what you need to do.
We can also talk to you about keeping you safe in your home.
What if I cannot return to my home?
If you need to be rehoused away from the person who is abusing you, we can give you housing advice or discuss alternative safe accommodation. We can also try to find a Women’s Refuge place or safe accommodation for you.
If you cannot get into your home or you are afraid to stay there, we can help you.
You can contact any of our local offices and our staff will be able to listen to you and give you advice and support. The Police may also be able to go with you if you want to get personal belongings from your home.
If I ask for a Housing Officer to call out to my home, what are the risks?
Housing Officers will offer and co-ordinate support. Our staff do not wear Longhurst Group uniforms or badges so your neighbours would not be aware they were from Longhurst Group.
Will my partner (or the person causing domestic abuse) know that I have asked for help?
We will never inform the person responsible that we have spoken to you.
As your safety is our main concern, we will also not take any action against this person without consulting you first.
Who else can I talk to and what services do they provide?
There are many organisations which can provide support to people experiencing or perpetrating domestic abuse. Listed below are useful phone numbers of organisations who can help you, or help someone you know.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline:Run by Women’s Aid and Refuge. Call 0808 2000 247
- Women's Aid: For a full A-Z list of local support groups, visit womensaid.org.uk
- Refuge: For support and advice, literature and articles, visit refuse.org.uk
- Men’s advice: Confidential support for male victims of domestic abuse. Call 0808 801 0327
- Mankind Initiative: Confidential support for male victims of domestic abuse. Call 01823 334 244
- Neighbourhood Watch: To find our local branch, visit ourwatch.org.uk
- Galop: Support for LGBTQ+ people experiencing domestic abuse. Call 0800 599 9247
- The Forced Marriage Unit:Forced marriage and / or honour crimes. Call 020 7008 0151
- Respect: Concerned about your own abusive behaviour? Call 0808 802 4040
Cover your tracks online
If you’re worried that someone may see what you have been looking at online, there’s a few things you can do to minimise the chances of them finding out. This includes deleting your browser history.
Depending on the browser you use, click on the links below for instructions on how to do this.
Please remember that although clearing your history minimises the chances of someone knowing what websites you have visited there is other means of finding this out if you have the knowhow.
The safest way to access sites if you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online, is to use a computer at a local library, an internet cafe, a friend's house or at work.
Quick Exit button
We have introduced a ‘Quick Exit’ button, which enables browsers of our website to immediately navigate away from the page if they are concerned about an abusive partner or family member discovering what they’re viewing.
When a user clicks on the button, which has been applied to all pages related to the campaign, they will be redirected to the Google homepage. We hope that it will help our customers – and colleagues – to feel reassured when reaching out for our help.
We've linked with Lincoln-based My Student Essentials to help support domestic abuse survivors moving into new accommodation.
Our four commitments
The four commitments are:
- To put in place and embed a policy to support residents who are experiencing domestic abuse.
- To make information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on your website and in other places which are easily accessible to residents and staff.
- To put in place a HR policy and procedure on domestic abuse, or to incorporate this into an existing policy, to support members of staff who are experiencing domestic abuse.
- Appoint a champion in your organisation to own the activity you are doing to support people experiencing domestic abuse.
For more information visit cih.org/makeastand