Domestic abuse

 What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can be, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Domestic abuse is one of the most harmful of crimes, is undeniably where people can be seriously injured and/or psychologically harmed.

It is a devastating experience for victims and their children and so failure to address the victim’s immediate and on-going needs can have a considerable and long-term impact on their emotional well-being and health.

Domestic abuse is far more common than people think. It often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. 

Whilst physical violence would appear to be the most severe, the emotional and psychological aspects of domestic abuse can be as equally damaging.

Victims often suffer from low self-esteem, chronic depression, health problems, sleep disorders, panic attacks and many may drink alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Children are also victims of domestic abuse, whether they see it directly by being in the same room or hear it from within another room in the house. They can also be directly involved as the child may be in their mother’s or father’s arms when they are hit or emotionally abused. All of these events clearly have a detrimental and often long lasting effect on the child or young person.

It is therefore important to ensure that appropriate services are in place so that we can support our most vulnerable women, men and children

Where can people get help

If you, or somebody you know, are a victim of domestic abuse and you live in Stoke-on-Trent please contact the domestic abuse support service provided by Arch North Staffordshire

Helpline: 01782 205500 (10.00 – 3.00 Monday to Friday)
Domestic abuse enquiry line: 01782 222421 (8.30 – 5.30 Monday to Friday)

Arch offer a range of support services and accommodation for people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse and work with men, women and children.

Alternatively you can contact the national 24 hour domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247

Staffordshire Police:

In an emergency where you are concerned for your own or someone else’s IMMEDIATE safety always dial 999.

The Staffordshire Police non-emergency number is 101

 If you are worried about a child please see details of what to do here


Domestic abuse victim Marie shares here story:

Marie was physically and emotionally abused by her husband for more than 20 years but managed to break the cycle with the support of all agencies involved and is now rebuilding her life. 

“When I met him he was charming and a bit of a bad boy. He moved in and we had a baby but he started to make changes from the beginning. Things like I didn’t need make up or to wear short skirts. As time went on he became increasingly moody and stopped me working.

I can’t remember exactly when he started to hit me, I think it was when he was having one of his affairs and I found out. As time went on he isolated me and stopped me going out. He drove my friends away by making them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

He installed fear in me like I had never felt before, I would dread being hit if I didn’t comply to his needs/demands and his constant jibes about my weight and appearance. I had no confidence or self-esteem left.

He made sure that I knew if I left him he would harm family members. We all learned to just comply with his demands - we were all his slaves. I knew I had to get away before he killed me. He attacked me again but the police were called and he was arrested and later sent to prison.

I have been beaten, mentally tortured, imprisoned, deprived of sleep and I have been assaulted on countless occasions but I am now in a new relationship and very happy.

My family is helping me to rebuild my life. I suffer from PTSD, however I am strong and confident. I have had loads of support from the police, social services housing, Arch and the Sunrise Centre.

I have completed the Freedom programme, the DV Recovery Toolkit and an accredited volunteers programme. I volunteer now and co- facilitate programmes. I am doing loads of courses and hope that I can help women who are going through what I did.”


 Lauren Luke - Don't cover it up campaign