Support for domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, bullying, threatening, or violent behaviour, by a partner, ex-partner, or any family member.

Domestic abuse isn’t just physical violence –it can be emotional, physical, sexual, economic, and psychological abuse.

Signs of abuse

Emotional abuse

Does the person abusing you:

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
  • accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
  • tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
  • control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?

Threats and intimidation

Does the person abusing you:

  • threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy things that belong to you?
  • stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • read your emails, texts or letters?
  • harass or follow you?

Physical abuse

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways:

  • slap, hit or punch you?
  • push or shove you?
  • bite or kick you?
  • burn you?
  • choke you or hold you down?
  • throw things?

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they’re male or female. does the person abusing you:

  • touch you in a way you don’t want to be touched?
  • make unwanted sexual demands?
  • hurt you during sex?
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
  • pressure you to have sex?

Safe Spot

Safe Spot is a district-wide programme which offers a place where you can have access to a private room and a phone so you can contact either local or national helplines for support, or to speak confidentially to your family and friends.

Visit the Bradford Domestic and Sexual Violence website to find a safe spot where you need it.

I'm worried about someone

It can be really worrying when your friend or family member seems to be in a controlling or abusive relationship. They might not see it like that, and they might get defensive if you ask them about it. You might think that you’re overreacting, but if you’ve witnessed or been told about worrying behaviour, then you have come to the right place. Remember, abuse doesn’t have to be physical, it can be verbal or psychological and that is just as serious.

It is important that you are there for your friend or family member and the very fact that you’re here, trying to find out more and understand in order to help someone you know that might be a victim, is a great start.

Please take some time to read The DASV 4-step guide to help a friend or family member

The Brathay Trust DART programme

What is DART?

Domestic Abuse Recovering Together (DART) is a programme that helps mums and their children (aged 7-14) strengthen their relationship once they are no longer living with domestic abuse.  

Over the 10-week programme, mums and children can explore their issues within a safe and friendly environment, promoting openness and honesty.

The programme is designed for one mum and one child per family. But if you have more than one child, you might be referred to the programme more than once.

More information

To find out more about this programme and if it's right for you please talk to a professional supporting you to start with. You can also look through the DART guide for mothers and the guide for children.

If you don't have anyone supporting you at the moment, call your local family hub who can help you.

Did you know

That we have a free programme for women over the age of 16 who might be in or recovering from an abusive or controlling relationship.

The Freedom Programme helps women to gain self-esteem and the confidence to improve the quality of their lives. The programme helps women to:

  • make sense what is happening or has happened to them
  • recognise the characteristics and early warning signs of abusers and abusive relationships.
  • Understand 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.

To find out more visit and hear the amazing feedback from women who have been on this programme visit:

Parenting Programmes for Families