Domestic abuse: Where to find help in Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders

Help is available for victims of domestic abuse. Credit: PA Images

Domestic abuse is a constant issue in our region but there is usually an increase in incidents at this time of year.

In 2021, some police forces in the UK saw this type of crime account for more than half of their work.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, here is a list of contacts who can help in Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders.

Dumfries and Galloway


  • Safety Net - Works with children, young people and families who have experience of rape, sexual abuse or domestic violence.

  • Freedom Project - Confidential telephone helpline with qualified therapist and trainers for those suffering from abuse.

  • Springboard South Lakeland - Offersa unique recovery package, tailored to the individual needs of people affected by domestic abuse.

  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisor - Specialist support services for victims of sexual violence provided by fully qualified staff.

  • Restorative Solutions - Working with children on parent violence.

  • Women Out West - Helps women who are experiencing domestic abuse, crime and other issues which make women vulnerable.

  • Scottish Borders

National Helplines

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

Domestic abuse can take many forms. Credit: PA Images

There are five categories of domestic abuse:

  • Physical abuse: Any kind of physical violence, including objects being thrown or threats of the use of a weapon.

  • Controlling behaviour: This can include controlling who the victim meets or speaks to, what they access on social media, what they wear and monitoring a person’s movements.

  • Coercive behaviour: Where the victim is forced to do things against their will, or they are constantly shouted at, ridiculed, deliberately frightened, threatened or made to feel like they have to walk on eggshells.

  • Financial abuse: Where the perpetrator controls the victim’s finances or restricts what money they can access for themselves or others.

  • Psychological abuse: Where a perpetrator destroys the confidence, outlook or mindset of the victim.