Domestic abuse and sexual violence

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Are you experiencing domestic abuse or have you experienced sexual violence?

Domestic abuse and sexual violence happens in every community and affects people of all genders and ages.

If you or someone you know is being or has been abused by a partner, ex-partner or family member, this may be domestic abuse. Abuse does not need to be physical. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual, violent behaviour and/or controlling behaviour.

Sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact. A person may use force, threats, manipulation, or coercion to commit sexual violence. Forms of sexual violence include rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and non-consensual image sharing. 

It is important to know that abuse and violence is not your fault and there are support services available to help.

In an emergency

Phone 999 if you are in immediate danger, or ask someone else to phone. State whether you need the police, ambulance or fire service. Try to move to a safe place, avoid kitchens or stairs, and stay near a door for a quick escape if you have to leave the area you are in.

If you are unable to speak when you call 999, press 55 when prompted and your call will be transferred to the police. This only works with mobiles. 

If the situation is not an emergency, but you still need the police, call 101.

If you need help 

Safe2Talk

A non-judgmental physical space for women and girls (or anyone) who has experienced sexual assault, harassment, or abuse to come and speak one-on-one with female experts including a police officer, a domestic abuse specialist, a Redbridge housing officer and an immigration lawyer from Ashiana Network.

Upcoming session

Date and time: Monday 29 July 2024, drop-in anytime between 2pm to 6pm

Location: Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford IG1 1EA

Please inform a member of staff in the library that you are attending Safe2Talk and you will be directed to the right place.

Domestic abuse support

Reach Out

A support service for any adult or child aged 16 or over living in Redbridge who is experiencing, or may be at risk of domestic abuse. Reach Out understand that everyone's situation is unique so can support you in a way that works best for you and keeps you safe. Reach Out also support children and young people who have been affected by domestic abuse.

 

Outside of these hours please contact:

The 24 Hour, National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Rape and sexual violence support 

The Havens

The Havens support anyone in London who has been raped or sexually assaulted in the past 12 months including men, women, young people and children of all ages. The service offers treatment, advice and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

  • If you have been sexually assaulted in the last seven days please call 0203 299 6900
  • If you would like advice about support following sexual assault that took place over seven days ago please call 020 3299 1599

East London Rape Crisis

East London Rape Crisis provided by Nia is a free, confidential specialist support service for women and girls who have been raped or experienced any other form of sexual violence at any time in their lives. The helpline includes support/advice for friends, family and professionals. 

  • Call: 0800 160 1036
  • Email: rapecrisis@niaendingviolence.org.uk
  • If your call is unanswered, leave a message with a safe telephone number and the best time to call you, and they will call you back

Specialist help and support

Specialist advice for young people in abusive or violent relationships is available.

Redbridge Safeguarding Children Partnership (RSCP)

Relationships can be fun and exciting but they can also be confusing and harmful. It’s important to understand what a healthy relationship looks like and to know what isn’t okay.

Read about RSCP's advice on healthy and unhealthy relationships

Aanchal Women's Aid

Aanchal provides advice and support in 7 South Asian languages, including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil, Bengali.

  • Call 0800 0124 924 (Helpline hours are Monday to Friday 09:00 am - 10:00 pm)

Ashiana Network

The Ashiana Network provides advice and support for South Asian, Turkish, Kurdish and Iranian women.

  • Call 0208 539 0427

The Refuge Eastern European Service

A support service for women and girls affected by gender-based violence and/or abuse within intimate or family relationships. The service is a culturally specific specialist domestic abuse support service run by Eastern European outreach workers that speak Romanian, Russian and Lithuanian. 

  • Call 07909 000 195 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
  • Email easterneuropeanservice@refuge.org.uk

Karma Nirvana

Karma Nirvana gives help and support for victims of honour-based violence and forced marriage:

  • Call 0800 5999 247 (24 hours)

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Advice: Forced Marriage Unit

Contact the Forced Marriage Unit if you are trying to stop a forced marriage or need help leaving a marriage you have been forced into:

  • Call 0207 008 0151
  • If overseas, call 0044 207 008 0151 

Galop 

Galop supports LGBTQ+ people who are experiencing domestic abuse and people supporting a survivor of domestic abuse:

  • Call 0800 999 5428 (Monday and Tuesday 9am to 5pm, Wednesday and Thursday 9am to 8pm and Friday 9am to 5pm)
  • Email help@galop.org.uk  

Respect Men's advice line

The Respect Men's advice line provides help for male victims of domestic abuse:

  • Call: 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm)
  • Email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk (Monday to Friday  9am to 5pm)
  • Webchat: Wednesdays 10am to 11.30am and Thursdays 2pm to 4pm

Ashraya Project 

A specialist service in London supporting male, trans+ and nonconforming survivors of domestic abuse with housing and/or immigration needs alongside domestic abuse support.

  • Call: 0808 168 9291
  • Email: malevictims@victimsupport.org.uk   

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical: it can be emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, or a combination of these. Domestic abuse is the abuse from someone within a close relationship or family setting. This behaviour is called coercive control and is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten.

Abusers may carry out physical, sexual, psychological, or economic abuse using technology. This is known as tech abuse.

There are many signs of domestic abuse including: verbal abuse, pressure tactics, disrespect, breaking trust, isolation, harassment, threats, sexual violence and physical violence. The abuser will often deny the abuse is happening.

Women are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse but men can be victims too.

In 90 per cent of domestic abuse incidents, children or young people are in the same or next room. 

  • If you are worried about their immediate safety, call 999
  • Report a crime by calling police on 101
  • Report anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or online
  • Stay connected by keeping regular contact. This creates safe spaces and opportunities to ask for help.
  • Let your friend know that you’ve noticed something is wrong. They might not be ready to talk, but try to find quiet times when they can talk if they choose to
  • Call the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit the National Domestic Abuse Helpline website to get a call back
  • Do not approach or contact the perpetrator. This could escalate the abuse and put you and the person at risk of harm

More information is available on the central government website, including:

  • Signs and behaviours to help you recognise if you are in an abusive relationship
  • The domestic violence disclosure scheme
  • Applying for settled status and benefits
  • Universal credit adjustments

Women's Aid, a national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children, have produced a survivors handbook, which provides practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse. The handbook is also available in multiple languages and audio versions.

The Victim's Code 

The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, found on the Government's website, sets out the minimum standards that must be provided to victims of crime by organisations in England and Wales.

Victims of crime should be treated in a respectful, sensitive and professional manner without discrimination of any kind. There are also other rights that are set out in the Code and it explains how to make a complaint if your rights have not been met.

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