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Domestic Abuse

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What is domestic abuse?

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Domestic Abuse is any abusive behaviour between family members or people aged over 16 who are in a relationship with each other (or have been in the past).

Family members are defined as mother, father, sister, brother and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or stepfamily.

Abusive behaviour may include:

  • violent or threatening behaviour
  • controlling or coercive behaviour (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • psychological, emotional abuse 
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • financial or economic abuse
  • harassment and stalking
  • online or digital abuse
  • so-called honour based violence
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • forced marriages

Domestic abuse can happen regardless of social group, class, age, race, disability or sexuality of the individuals involved.

The violence can begin at any stage of the relationship and may continue after the relationship has ended.

It is a pattern of controlling and aggressive behaviour that is used by abusers designed to establish and maintain power and control over another person.

If you think you need to leave your home, try arranging temporary accommodation before you leave, this could be staying with friends or relatives while you think about what to do next or if this is not an option contact the council.  

If you are planning to leave, try to take some essentials with you:

  • change of clothes
  • toiletries
  • any medication you need to take on a regular basis.
  • important items such as your passport, bank and credit cards and mobile phone

Am I experiencing domestic abuse?

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Does the person:

  • verbally abuse you - shouting/accusing, name calling or is verbally threatening?
  • use pressure tactics - sulking; threatening to withhold money, disconnecting the phone and internet, taking away or destroying your mobile, tablet or laptop, taking the car away, taking the children away; threatening to report you to the police, social services or the mental health team unless you comply with his/her demands; threatening or attempting self-harm and suicide; withholding or pressuring you to use drugs or other substances; lying to your friends and family about you; telling you that you have no choice in any decisions
  • disrespect you - Constantly puts you down in front of other people, taking money from your purse without consent?
  • isolate you - Monitors you calls and messages, prevents you from contacting friends or relatives, tells you where you can and cannot go, preventing you from leaving your home
  • control you - does the person prevent you from going out with friends, controls what you wear, where you go?
  • use physical violence against you - punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning or strangling
  • carry out sexual violence - uses force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don't want to or have not consented to it, any degrading treatment related to your sexuality or to whether you are lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual
  • threaten you - shouts down at you, destroys your possessions, damages objects - punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatens to kill or harm you, your children or your pets, threatens to commit suicide
  • harass you - follows you, constantly contacting you when you are apart, stalking you, opening your post, repeatedly checking to see who has called or messaged you, accompanying you everywhere you go




How to report domestic abuse

Quick exit to Google If you are calling and speaking or making an immediate sound would put you in danger and you need immediate help, there are 2 options, Silent Solution and Text Service.

Silent Solution

  1. dial 999
  2. listen to the question from the 999 operator
  3. respond by coughing or tapping the handset
  4. press 55 when prompted and the call will be transferred to the police, who will know it is an emergency call. 

This service only works from mobiles and not from a landline

Text Service

You must first be registered to use this service.

How to register:

  1. text the word 'register' to 999 ...
  2. you will get a reply - then follow the instructions you are sent

How to use:

Once registered if you need to use the service Text 999 with the following:

  1. who you require (i.e. police)
  2. what is the emergency
  3. what is your location

How the council can help

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If you don't feel safe at home due to domestic abuse, you can contact our housing options team by either calling into Greyfriars House or by telephone or email.

  • Address: Greyfriars House, Greyfriars Way, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2QE
  • Telephone:  01493 846140
  • Email:
  • Opening Hours: we are open between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday

If you need urgent help outside of these hours, please call the out of hours number: 01493 330369.

Our Housing Options team can help you in several ways:

  • work closely with other services to provide survivors with the help they need, when they need it
  • encourage survivors to make their own decisions and offer support as they find ways to build a safe future for themselves and their families
  • recognise that issues surrounding abusive relationships are complex and long-standing and may not easily be solved
  • carry out an assessment to see if you are at risk of homelessness due to violence and give you advice on your housing options - while your case is investigated you may be offered emergency accommodation in a safe location, this could be outside of the area you live in
  • put you in touch with other organisations that provide support and legal advice in relation to your accommodation
  • support you to contact your landlord to tell them what has happened and discuss safety measures they could put in place for you at your tenancy
  • make a referral to the Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (NIDAS) - this is a free, safe and confidential service designed to empower those who are experiencing domestic abuse
  • can look to add target hardening measures to make your home safer

For further information on housing or homelessness see our I need somewhere to live section.


Domestic abuse support information

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Domestic Abuse Disclosure (Clare's Law)

If you're in a relationship and concerned your partner may be abusive towards you, you can ask the police to disclose information about them. You can also ask for information if you're concerned about someone else, such as a family member.

For more info, please visit the Norfolk Police website.

Help for children and young people

If you or someone else in your family is being hurt at home, you may not be sure what you can do to get help. Domestic abuse is not your fault, and you will not get into trouble for telling someone about it.

The first thing is to tell someone else what is happening to you. You can tell a teacher, a neighbour, friend, or a friend's parent.

You can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free. They won't tell anyone you are calling unless you are in immediate danger. They can tell you about places where you can get help.

For further help please see the Childline website.

Help with pets

The Dogs Trust Freedom Project is a free fostering service for dogs belonging to people fleeing domestic abuse. This service allows a dog to be looked after in a safe environment whilst the owner is in a refuge/temporary accommodation and until they can be safely reunited.

Cats Protection Lifeline is a free cat fostering service run by Cats Protection for people experiencing domestic abuse so they can rest assured their cat will be taken care of in a safe environment whilst the owner is in a refuge or temporary accommodation until they can be safely reunited.

Safe spaces and Ask Ani

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Safe Spaces

This is a scheme set up where victims of domestic abuse can walk into any participating organisation and ask to use their safe space. They provide a safe and discreet way to reach out to friends and family, and contact specialist support services. Safe Spaces are open and ready for you to use. Organisations that provide safe spaces have posters advertising this in their shop window.

Safe Spaces within our Borough

  • HSBC - 181 King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 1LS
  • PHARMACY EXPREZZ - Row 60, 183a King Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 1L
  • BOOTS - 3 Market Gates Shopping Centre, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2AX
  • BOOTS - 87-89 High Street, Gorleston-on-Sea, NR30 6QX
  • SUPERDRUG - 138 High Street, Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, NR31 6QX

Ask for ANI

This is a codeword scheme which enables victims of domestic abuse to access immediate help from the police or other support services from the safety of a private space within your local pharmacy. All you need to do is go into one of the pharmacies operating this scheme and "ask for ANI".

To use these services, go to the location approach a member of staff and Ask for ANI ("Please can I speak to ANI") or ask to use a Safe Space ("Do you have a safe space available?")

Ask ANI within our Borough:

  • BOOTS - Market Gates Shopping Centre, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2AX


Are you worried about your behaviour?

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  • are you concerned that your behaviour towards your partner is costing you your relationship?
  • are you worried your children are witnessing too many arguments between their parents?

It is ok to ask for help, you can either approach your GP or approach a specialist charity which can help you change your behaviour.

Respect Phoneline:

Useful contacts

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NIDAS - Norfolk Integrated Domestic Abuse Service

LEEWAY - Domestic Abuse charity

FEATHERS FUTURES - charity supporting women in Great Yarmouth

SUE LAMBERT TRUST - sexual assault charity

THE HARBOUR CENTRE - sexual assault referral centre



WOMEN'S AID - women's charity



MANKIND INITIATIVE - men's charity

GALOP - LGBT and Anti-Violence charity

LOVING ME - Trans and Non-Binary charity

PALADIN - National Stalking Advocacy Service

KARMA NIRVAVA - so-called Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage

MEWSO - Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation

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