Domestic abuse help and advice

Help and advice if you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse.

Sue Poole Award 2019

The Sue Poole Award recognises exceptional work in the field of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

The award is provided by Suffolk County Council working with The Suffolk Violence and Abuse Partnership, and the family of the late Sue Poole and is awarded in her memory.

Sue Poole worked tirelessly to support adults and children affected by the impact of domestic abuse. Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Police are pleased to support the Award and to encourage individuals and agencies to develop supportive interventions that reduce the harm experienced by victims and survivors. The Award recognises individuals or organisational innovation, achievement and commitment, in developing and maintaining projects, initiatives and solutions for victims and survivors of violence and abuse.

Nominations are welcomed from a wide range of VAWG strands, which are defined by the Home Office as: Domestic Abuse, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Forced Marriage, Honour Based Violence, Prostitution and Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence. There is a recognition that there is a disproportionate impact on women and girls but that men and boys are also affected by these offences.

Nominations for the award are now open. To nominate, please complete the nomination form (Word, 33KB) and email to

For more information about the award, download information for applicants (Word, 49KB).

The closing date for applications is Friday 1 February 2019. The successful nominee will be notified in early February 2019.

Help and Advice

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.

Get help

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. 

For more information about the support available visit New Dawn Suffolk.

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

ServicesTelephone number
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
0300 1235058
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)
0800 5999247 
NSPCC - New Free FGM 24hr advice and support 0800 0283550
Victim Support  0845 3899548
Samaritans 0845 7909090
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

0808 8004005

Suffolk Police - for all enquiries call 101