Domestic abuse

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Domestic abuse during the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19

Increased tension in the household caused by the stresses of self-isolation coupled with the fact that victims of domestic abuse are forced to stay inside with their perpetrators, has led to a sharp increase in cases of domestic abuse.

Here are some resources for victims and survivors of domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak.


Women’s Aid COVID-19 safety advice

Men’s advice line for male victims/survivors

GALOP LGBT+ domestic abuse helpline or 0800 999 5248

Safelives coronavirus support

What is domestic abuse ?

Psychological abuse

This can include intimidation, insults, isolating the person from friends and family, criticising, denying the abuse, treating the person as inferior, threatening to harm children or take them away, forced marriage.

Physical abuse

This can include shaking, smacking, punching, kicking, presence of finger or bite marks, bruising, starving, tying up, stabbing, suffocation, throwing things, using objects as weapons, female genital mutilation. Physical effects are often in areas of the body that are covered and hidden (i.e. breasts, legs and stomach).

Sexual abuse

This includes rape (including the threat of rape), sexual assault, forced prostitution, ignoring religious prohibitions about sex, refusal to practise safe sex, sexual insults, passing on sexually transmitted diseases, preventing breastfeeding.

Financial abuse

Including not letting the person work, undermining efforts to find work or study, refusing to give money, asking for an explanation of how every penny is spent, making the person beg for money, gambling, not paying bills, building up debt in the other person’s name.

Emotional abuse

This can be swearing, undermining confidence, making racist, sexist or other derogatory remarks, making the person feel unattractive, calling the person stupid or useless, eroding the person’s independence, keeping them isolated from family or friends.

Controlling behaviour

A range of acts designed 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.

Coercive behaviour

Acts, or a pattern of acts, of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

So-called honour-based abuse

Also a form of domestic abuse, explained by the perpetrator of the abuse on the grounds that it was committed as a consequence of the need to protect or defend the honour of the family; it can include all the types of abuse listed above and specific crimes such as forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Domestic servitude

Children, women and men being forced to work in private households as maids, servants, housekeepers, personal carers, nannies, chauffeurs, gardeners and cooks in exploitative conditions. Abuse can take the form of difficult working conditions (no days off, long hours and minimal, if any, salary) and psychological, physical, or sexual abuse.

Support and advice

Jigsaw Support

We provide support for victims of domestic abuse and rehabilitation for perpetrators through Jigsaw Support. Visit


Our Bridges service runs a domestic abuse advice and support service in Tameside. This includes outreach and refuge provision.

Visit their website or call 0800 328 0967 in confidence.


The charity Refuge runs the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. They can provide legal advice, help with housing including refuge, money advice and signposting to local services.  Visit or call them on 0808 2000 247.

The Police

Domestic abuse is against the law. In an emergency call 999. If you feel like you are unable to speak, press ‘55’ when you call.


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