Domestic abuse and harassment

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

Domestic violence and abuse can take different forms. Although it can be very frightening, sometimes it can also be very subtle.

Some examples include:

  • threats and intimidation
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • forced isolation from your friends or family
  • controlling behaviour
  • financial abuse, for example, stopping you from getting or keeping a job or taking your money away

To find out more about recognising domestic abuse, visit the Women's aid website.

Get help

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, always contact the police on 999.

You can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (for women) or the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.

Staying at home

If it's safe to do so, we may be able to help you stay in your own home. Target hardening can be installed in your home to make sure you and your children are safe, this includes changing the locks and alarms.

You can take legal action to stop domestic abuse or to stop it from happening again and prevent your partner from entering your home. This includes injunctions or orders to protect your children.

You can get advice on injunctions at the National Centre for Domestic Violence on 0800 970 270 or seek advice from a solicitor.

Leaving home

If you're at risk in your home or cannot stay there because of domestic abuse, we can find you somewhere safe to live. So long as you do not have any immigration restrictions, we can provide emergency housing if:

  • you are pregnant
  • you have children with you

We can only give emergency housing for single people who are vulnerable to abuse. We will look at what has happened to you and what support you have when we make this decision.

You can ask any council for homelessness help if you are at risk.

You can get advice from Shelter about your rights before you leave your home.

Safety planning

A personal safety plan is a way of helping you protect yourself and your children, you can read more information about safety plans on the Women's aid website.

Other help and support

The Poole Domestic Abuse Project provides safe and confidential support for anyone experiencing domestic abuse and anyone seeking seeking advice for someone else. They also hold weekly drop in sessions for those who seek advice or have concerns and are worried about someone. You can call their 24 hour helpline for more information on 01202 710777.

A Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is a local, multi agency victim-focused meeting where information is shared on the highest risk cases of domestic violence and abuse between different statutory and voluntary sector agencies.

Useful links

National Domestic Violence Helpline - Help and support for women
Men's Advice Line - Help and support for male victims of domestic abuse
National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline - Support LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse
Karma Nirvana - Support for "honour based" violence or forced marriage
Rights of women - Free legal advice for women
Samaritans - Confidential support
You First - 0800 032 5204, support and advice for victims of stalking
Victim Support: 0808 168 9111 (National support)
Victim Support: 0300 303 0163 (Dorset support)

Page last updated: 26 August 2021
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