What is Domestic Abuse Awareness month?
October was first declared as National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month in 1989. It’s a month dedicated to raising awareness, acknowledging domestic abuse survivors and giving a voice to its victims.
What is classifies as domestic abuse?
The UK government’s definition of domestic abuse is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.’
Domestic abuse can take different forms, including:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Coercive control and gaslighting / emotional abuse
- Digital / online abuse
- ‘Honour-based’ violence
- Forced marriage
- Female genital mutilation (FGM).
Domestic abuse is present in every community, and affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. Even though physical violence is often the traditional thought that first comes to mind, but many abusive relationships might never involve physical violence and they are still abusive.
Don’t forget you’re not alone
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse you’re not alone. Sometimes it can seem like everything is too hard, but support is only a phone call, live chat or online message away. Your enquiry will be treated confidentially, and you have full control over what – if anything - happens next.
How can we help?
Our trained staff offer confidential advice and guidance as well as practical support to help rebuild your confidence and empower you to make the change you want, we can help you with the following:
- Find a safe place to stay if you flee
- Emotional support
- Practical advice and support either face-to-face or via our helpline
- Support for children and young people
You can also find information about domestic abuse services in Oxfordshire or West Berkshire on our website. Please note that our direct helpline can only support our customers living in Oxford and West Berkshire. The national helpline is open to all.
Is it time to act?
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, you should contact the Police in the first instance on 999. Whether you want to leave an abusive environment or simply get more information at this stage, help is only a phone call away. You have the power to break the cycle of abuse.