You have a right to be safe

If you are in a crisis situation and need refuge or help please call our helpline or your local police station

Have you experienced the following
from a partner or ex-partner?

Verbal abuse

Mental/Emotional Abuse
Enforced Isolation
Withholding of Money
Actual or threatened physical
violence to yourself or your children
Sexual assault

These are examples of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is most often the violent and controlling behavior used by a man against his female partner or ex-partner. It can also occur in other close adult relationships and anyone being victimized this way can get help.

You are not alone

In a crisis, your safety is vital. If you are thinking about leaving the following items may be useful

Benefit Books (if claiming benefit)
ID - Birth Certificates
House keys

You will be taken seriously

Children's favorite toys
Spare clothes
Items of personal value
e.g. photos

You can get help

Scared to leave? Scared to stay?

"The wonder of it is not that women find it hard to leave the scene of the violence but that so many find the courage to do so"

Victim support report, 1992

Women often want the violence to end not the relationship.

Women usually seek help from family and friends first.

Women often have to seek help with 5-12 agencies before getting the right help.

Despite the impact of domestic violence or abuse many people, maybe you yourself cannot understand why women stay in violent or abusive relationships. Abuse can come in many forms including name calling or put downs, not being allowed to see family or friends, withholding money, actual or physical harm, sexual assault, using jealousy to control YOU and blaming YOU for his violence. Victims of domestic violence are usually women but not always the case.

The main thing is that YOU are not alone, one in four women suffer or have suffered domestic violence. It is not easy to seek help and YOU many feel frightened ashamed confused and guilty.

It is not easy to accept or understand that a loved one can act so terribly towards you. Maybe because you cannot explain your partners behaviour you may assume that you are to blame. YOU ARE NOT.

The most important thing to do is tell someone. Maybe it will be a quick easy decision, for many it is not and it is a long painful process as you try to make the relationship work and hoping the violence will stop. The prospect of leaving a violent relationship can be as frightening as staying. Your partner may have threatened that if you leave or tell anyone about the violence then your children will be taken away. Social services will not take children for this reason. We understand that even after you leave you may still be at risk.

You are NOT to blame

You have the right to live free from violence and the fear of the violence

You can get help and support:-

whether you have children or not

whether you want to leave your partner or not

Reasons why women find it difficult to leave a violent partner or relationship:-

  • They think he will change
  • Afraid of what he might do
  • Do not want to leave the home environment
  • Do not want to upset the children
  • Nowhere to go
  • Cannot afford to leave
  • Too much in love with him
  • Do not want to end the relationship
  • Think the violence was a "once off"
  • Family pressure not to leave

Women are faced with complex choices when they are making choices about leaving their violent partners. For each woman those decisions are dependent on the particular circumstances she faces.

Problems can above can be overcome below is an experience of one survivor who left the domestic abuse.

" I was married for 6 years and with my partner for 11 the abuse started very soon into the relationship. Not physical but verbal calling me names it crept up on me soon he was throwing things at me and threatening me, not letting me see my friends and hitting me. After the birth of my daughter the abuse got worse and he would hit me whilst I had the baby in my arms. I went to my mother in-laws house after one beating and she phoned him up and he was very apologetic, she sent me back to him saying that I must try harder to work at the marriage and to always put myself last. I tried very hard not to upset him, it was like treading on eggshells. Nothing I did was good enough, everything was my fault and it got to the point where my daughter would hide behind the sofa and scream whilst he hit me. I could cope, but my daughter couldn't and one morning just before christmas I went out to the shops and went to the bus station and caught a bus. We had just what we were stood up in. I phoned the police and they got in touch with the refuge for me. There was space for me and I was welcomed and for the first time in a long time I felt safe. At the refuge they helped me apply for income support so I had some money and apply for housing in the Darlington area. I was in the refuge for nearly three months and then I was offered a house. Nearly a year on I am still rebuilding my life but with a confidence I had forgotten I had, My daughter is in a new school and has made new friends and we are enjoying our life together. Not all women wish to leave the home or the abuser, you can still get help and support

" I have been married for 19 years and I love my husband. For nearly all my married life I have put up with my partners violent outbursts. The violence started when I was pregnant with my first child and continues. I see my outreach worker on a regular basis and she helps me to realise the violence is not my fault. I have regained some of my confidence but having someone who I can talk to without being judged and someone who will listen to me is my lifeline and helps me through."


Home page - Celebrating 40 years of saving lives

Scared to leave? Scared to stay?   "The wonder of it is not that women find it hard to leave the scene of the violence but that so many find the courage to do so" Victim support report, 1992 Women often want the violence to end not the...

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About us

About us Family Help Darlington CIO was formed and registered as a charity on 13 February 2013 (registered charity number 1150798) and took over all work from Family Help from 31st March 2013 (registered charity number 506051). Family Help, the...

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