Domestic abuse - women helplines
Use our helplines to find more information and advice for female victims of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is a crime.
If you are in immediate danger always call the police, and always dial 999 if it is an emergency and press 55 if you can’t talk (only on mobile phones). They have a duty to protect and help you.
If you visit any of these websites, please read the ‘hide your visit’ / ‘cover your tracks’ / safety information – or click on ‘Exit Website’
Codeword scheme - ANI
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help, ask for ‘ANI’ in a participating pharmacy. ‘ANI’ stands for Action Needed Immediately but also phonetically sounds like the name Annie. If a pharmacy has the ‘Ask for ANI’ logo on display, it means they’re ready to help. They will offer you a private space, provide a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.
24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Freephone: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
The offence closes a gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour that occurs during a relationship between intimate partners, former partners who still live together or family members. This offence sends a clear message that this form of domestic abuse can constitute a serious offence particularly in light of the violation of trust it represents and will provide better protection to victims experiencing repeated or continuous abuse. It sets out the importance of recognising the harm caused by coercion or control, the cumulative impact on the victim and that a repeated pattern of abuse can be more injurious and harmful than a single incident of violence.
Financial abuse is the hidden financial cousin of domestic abuse – it's all about dangerous, unfair control using finances. It can be subtle or brutal. So be aware of it both for your own relationship, and for others – but this blog's about more than that too...
Bright Sky Domestic Abuse App
Available in 4 languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish. A unique UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services with contact details. A secure My Journal tool to record incidents of abuse via text, audio, video or photo form, without any of the content being saved on the device itself. Questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, plus a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse. Links to further resources and information on topics around domestic abuse.
Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Thirty-five years ago Refuge set up the world's first refuge for women and children escaping domestic violence. Since then, Refuge has grown to become the largest provider of emergency accommodation and emotional and practical support to women and children in the country and the leading voice in the campaign to end domestic violence.
Women's Aid Federation of England
For women who are experiencing or have experienced physical, mental, sexual or domestic violence or abuse. Offers advice, support and crisis intervention to abused women.
Website for children and young people witnessing domestic violence.
Aimed at 16-25 year olds, Love Respect explores what is and isn’t a healthy relationship – from physical violence to coercive control, how to get help and what the law can do for you.
Scottish Women’s Aid
Office: 0800 027 1234
Scottish Women's Aid is the lead organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse. We play a vital role campaigning and lobbying for effective responses to domestic abuse. An important aspect of our work is ensuring that women and children who have experienced domestic abuse get the services they need, both from local Women’s Aid groups and from the agencies they are likely to contact. Our members are local Women’s Aid groups which provide specialist services to women, children and young people. These include safe refuge accommodation, information and support. For queries relating to our policy or campaign work please contact us, for support if you are experiencing abuse please contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline.
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
Helpline number: 0800 027 1234
Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We support anyone in Scotland who has experienced, or is at risk of experiencing domestic abuse or forced marriage, as well as those concerned about someone they know experiencing these. We can discuss your options and provide contact details to relevant support agencies. We will help you regardless of age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or background. If English is not your first language, we can speak to you through a confidential translation service.
Live Fear Free – All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline
Live Fear Free Helpline: 0808 8010 800
Text service: 078600 77333
The helpline provides a bilingual free and confidential information and support service for women, children and men in Wales who are experiencing or who have experienced abuse at the hands of someone close to them.
Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation
25hr Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414
Women’s Aid provides a wide range of services to women and children affected by domestic violence throughout Northern Ireland. We offer a safe place to stay in refuges or outreach support for those remaining at home. Children’s physical and emotional needs are met through many types of support.
Victim Support Helpline
Helpline: 0808 168 9111
We don’t just help people who’ve recently experienced domestic abuse – we’re here to support both men and women, weeks, months and years afterwards. All of our services are confidential, free and available to anyone who's experienced domestic violence.
National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline
Helpline: 0800 999 5428
Emotional and practical support for LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse. Abuse isn’t always physical- it can be psychological, emotional, financial and sexual too. Speak out, don’t suffer in silence.
Helpline: 0345 3 30 30 30
LGBT Foundation provide a wide range of support services to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. We also work with healthcare and other professionals to help make public services more accessible and inclusive for LGBT communities.
Southall Black Sisters
Helpline: 0208 571 0800
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, Southall Black Sisters can help with practical help and advice. Our holistic service aims to help women and children escape violence and abuse (including forced marriage and honour crimes) and deal with a range of inter related problems. Southall Black Sisters is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1979 to meet the needs of black (Asian and African-Caribbean) and minority ethnic women. For more than three decades we have been at the forefront of challenging domestic and gender violence locally and nationally.
FCO Forced Marriage Unit
Helpline: 020 7008 0151 (or 0044 20 7008 0151 if you are overseas)
Our Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is dedicated both to preventing British nationals being forced into marriage overseas and to assisting anyone in the UK faced with the prospect of being forced into a marriage. If you are worried that you might be forced into a marriage or are worried about someone else who may be you should contact us.
Sharan Project (South Asian Women Help & Support)
Information Line: 0844 504 3231
There are many reasons which lead ethnic minority women, particularly of South Asian origin, to leave home forcefully or voluntarily. Issues such as cultural conflict, family breakdown, disownment, forced marriage and or intercourse, domestic and or honour- based violence (real and perceived), as well as many factors can lead women to seek information and practical assistance. The SHARAN Project is designed to empower, educate and inspire women who want to actively learn more about the support and choices that are available to them, to provide them with the tools to lead life on their own terms.
Honour Network - Karma Nirvana
Helpline: 0800 599 9247
Karma Nirvana is a registered Charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse. We are your listening ear in confidence and many of us have the experience of forced marriage and issues related to honour based abuse. We are here for you when you’re at home or when you leave and will talk over the phone wherever you are. One of our key principles is that we never talk to or engage with your family. Our commitment and loyalty is to you and as we understand the fears when family members become involved.
Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation
Helpline: Mon to Fri 9.30-5.30 0207 920 6460
Emergency numbers 24 hrs
Kurdish / Arabic 07846 275246
Farsi / Dari / Turkish 07846 310157
The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation provides advice and support to Middle Eastern women and girls living in the UK who are facing ‘honour’ based violence, domestic abuse, forced marriage or female genital mutilation.
Ashiana Project (London)
Helpline: 020 8539 0427
We believe everyone has the right to live a life free of oppression, fear and violence. We are a charitable organisation based in London, to help women from the Asian, Turkish & Iranian community get help when they need it. We are here to offer our help support and guidance to Women in need. We offer confidential and culturally specific advice, support and information to our clients. Our aim is to empower the women and young people who use our services so that they are able to make informed choices and decisions about their future.
Helpline: 0114 255 5740
Ashiana Sheffield has been in existence as an organisation since 1981 and currently provides refuge accommodation and floating/outreach support services to Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) women, children and young people who are survivors of partner and family abuse, including forced marriages and honour-based violence, or who have been trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and/or domestic servitude. We offer confidential and culturally specific advice, support and information to our clients.
Hemat Gryffe Women's Aid (Glasgow)
Helpline: 0141 353 0859
Hemat Gryffe Women’s Aid are women from various backgrounds who are concerned about violence against women, children and young people. We have multi-lingual employees and volunteers. We provide culturally sensitive counselling and recognise that women, children and young people from the black and minority ethnic community experiencing domestic abuse may be reluctant to seek help from mainstream services such as Hemat Gryffe Womens Aid or social services due to cultural beliefs.
Shakti Women's Aid (Edinburgh)
Helpline: 0131 475 2399
Shakti Women’s Aid is an organisation based in Edinburgh, working since 1986 to offer support, advocacy and information to all black / minority ethnic women, children and young people experiencing and/or fleeing domestic abuse from partners / husbands, ex-partners and other family members. If you think you or someone you know might be suffering from domestic abuse, you can contact us for help.
24/7 Helpline: 0845 607 0133
We aim to empower young people to feel they have the tools and confidence to support each other and have practical ways in which they can help their best friend around the issues of family relationships which can lead to early and forced marriage and dishonour based violence. The Help-line and Textline (text ‘4freedom’ to 88802) are manned by trained professionals to help victims of forced marriage and their friends who are seeking help, support and advice.
The Freedom Programme
Helpline: 01942 262 270
The Programme was primarily designed for women as victims of domestic violence, since research shows that in the vast majority of cases of serious abuse are male on female. However, the programme, when provided as an intensive two day course, is also suitable for men, whether abusive and wishing to change their attitudes and behaviour or whether victims of same sex domestic abuse themselves. The Freedom Programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help them to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess. The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.
Living with a Dominator by Pat Craven
Why Does He Do That: Inside the minds of angry and controlling men by Lundy Bancroft
Power and Control: Why Charming Men Make Danger Lovers by Sandra Horley
Women who love too much by Robin Norwood