Domestic abuse support

domestic abuse support

Domestic abuse is defined by the Government as “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, or 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 or emotional abuse” (P8 of the MOD Domestic Abuse Strategy; “No Defence for Abuse”).

This strategy, which sits alongside the Armed forces families’ strategy and Defence people mental health and wellbeing strategy is written for all defence people:

  • Regular and Reserve personnel,
  • Service families
  • Defence civilians


Refuge, a charity for women and children against domestic violence, has reported around a 50% increase in the number of calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline and over 400% in visits to its website since lockdown began in response to COVID-19. Specialist domestic abuse organisations have joined together to create advice and information about support available for domestic abuse survivors. They have also produced advice for family, friends, neighbours and community members. Visit Refuge for survivor tips.

Support for RAF personnel and families

  • If you need to, you can make a silent call to the police. Dial 999 – then 55 if you can’t talk. DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE POLICE ON 999 in an emergency.
  • SSAFA provide RAF personnel and families with confidential personal support and social work services outside the chain of command.
    • SSAFA telephone service: +44 (0) 207 463 9358 or 0800 7314880 or 03000 111 723
    • SSAFA also have sheltered housing for women and children
  • Aurora New Dawn provide a dedicated service to armed forces personnel and their families;
    • Via email at [email protected]
    • By telephone on 023 92 479254 (our office)
    • By telephone or text, directly to our forces advocate on (voicemail maybe in operation)

General Support for Domestic Abuse

  • Free, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • National Stalking helpline: 0808 802 0330
  • WomensAid: plenty of online ways to access support and links to local services where you are.
  • Refuge: likewise a source of support and advice including links to local services if you need them.
  • The Male Survivors Partnership – for men experiencing domestic abuse: 0808 800 5005
  • The Mankind Initiative – an alternative helpline for men being abused by a current or former partner: 01823 334244
  • Respect provides a Mens Advice Line to support male victims of domestic abuse and also provide advice for concerned family, friends and Frontline Workers who may be supporting male victims.
  • GALOP – for support for LGBT people experiencing abuse: 0800 999 5428
  • Bright Sky, is a free mobile app which is designed to be used by anyone looking for more information about domestic abuse, including; online safety, stalking and harassment, and sexual consent. Visit Hestia for more information and to download the app.
  • Use Aurora Stalking services for stalking advice and safety planning.
  • The Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has produced a self help guide around Domestic Abuse.

Perpetrator programmes

Perpetrator programmes support participants to change their behaviour and challenge them to look at the causes of violence and abuse helping them to understand why they have been abusive. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their abusive behaviour and to acknowledge the impact of their abuse. They will also learn different, positive ways of behaving in relationships.

There are several Perpetrator Programmes available throughout the UK and many of these accept self-referrals. Respect can provide you with a full list of Perpetrator Programmes in your area.

The Respect helpline is a free, anonymous and confidential helpline for men and women who are harming their partners and families. It provides specialist advice and guidance to help people change their behaviours and support for those working with domestic abuse perpetrators.

  • Phone: 0808 802 4040 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Webchat is also available – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 10-11am and 3-4pm

Further information on health and wellbeing

This story comes to you as part of the RAF FF’s themed month of May for all things relating to health and wellbeing. The website also provides a good reference section on all things health-related. You can also sign up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or quarterly Envoy magazine to keep yourself up to date with information on new initiatives as they go live.

Health and Wellbeing themed image of two people sitting on the top of a mountain with their feet crossed, looking out across an amazing view

Photo by Toimetaja tõlkebüroo on Unsplash

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