You are not to blame
If you are being abused, threatened, harassed or physically or sexually assaulted by your partner, former partner or some-one who is or has been close to you, there are a number of things you can do. Your abuser may blame you and other things like being drunk, pressure of work, unemployment and minimise or deny what they are doing. These things can put a strain on a relationship but are not a cause of abuse.
Abuse in teenage relationships is also not normal or acceptable, click here for more information for young people.
Every 25 November is White Ribbon Day, an international day for the eradication of abuse against women. To show your support for the Suffolk campaign, each year we invite you to get involved, click on the link or the banner below for more information.
Don’t keep what is happening to you a secret, you have nothing to be ashamed of and the longer the abuse goes on the harder it gets to take some action. Don’t suffer alone, get help by talking to someone you trust or contact one of the organisations listed at the end of this page.
If you are a front line officer working with families and victims of domestic abuse, you might be interested in this training programme. This training is offered free of charge to statutory and voluntary organisations in Suffolk. Unfortunately this training is not available to the general public.
Don’t feel alone
Research shows that 1 in 4 women have been in an abusive relationship at some time in their lives; men can also be abused in a similar way. It can happen to any-one at any time of their lives regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, disability, wealth, income, lifestyle or where you live.
Don’t remain isolated
Your abuser may be trying to control you physically as well as emotionally in many ways; they may be controlling finances and may be stopping you going out, or making it awkward for you to see family and friends. All these are types of abuse that can keep you locked in the relationship.
Accept you are not to blame
You are not responsible for the abuse although the person abusing you may be telling you, or you may feel, it’s your fault. You may have tried changing what you do, say and wear to try to pacify and not to antagonise the situation. You may have already noticed that whatever you do makes little difference to the way your abuser reacts and despite your efforts you cannot change their behaviour.
Keep yourself safe
Minimising what is happening can put you (and your children) at risk. It’s not easy to accept that a loved one can act in this way and you may be trying to make the relationship work. Your abuser may apologise and persuade you that it will not happen again but any sort of abuse is likely to get worse; violence rarely happens only once and will get more and more serious as time goes on.
Only leave when it is safe to do so
You may be considering leaving or may have left before and returned for emotional or practical reasons, this is not unusual. Most people try to get help or leave a number of times before getting the help that's right for them. If you are thinking of leaving making a plan can help you do this as safely as possible. Call one of the organisations listed below, they can help with this and never be worried about asking for help again and again. In an emergency always DIAL 999.
Useful Telephone Numbers
|National Domestic Violence free phone 24hr helpline||08082 000247|
|Ipswich - Lighthouse Women's Aid 24hr Hotline||01473 745111|
|Waveney - Haven Women's Aid Project||08454 674876|
|Bury St Edmunds Women’s Refuge||01284 753085|
|The Ferns - sexual assault referral centre.
One stop location offering medical care and emotional support to any victim of sexual assault and rape
|Suffolk Rape Crisis (Women and girls only) helpline||08000 850520|
|Domestic Abuse Outreach Service – crisis and intensive support, advice and information - Freephone||0800 9775690|
|Men’s Advice Line||0808 8010327|
|Broken Rainbow LGBT helpline||0300 9995428|
|Karma Nirvana - ‘Honour’ Based Violence, Forced Marriage,
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
|NSPCC - New Free FGM 24hr advice and support||0800 0283550|
|Victim Support||0845 3899548|
|Rights of Women - Free Legal Advice Line||0207 2516577|
|Childline 24 hour service for children||0800 1111|
Suffolk County Council – Customer First county-wide free phone
Suffolk Police - for all enquiries call 101
In an Emergency always dial 999