Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse doesn’t always have to be physical – it’s a pattern of controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour, which can also be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual. Abuse is a choice a perpetrator makes, and isolation is used by many perpetrators as a tool of control.

Naomi Clarke, Technology Communications Manager, has shared her experience of being in an abusive relationship and how speaking to her line manager helped support her through the situation. Read Naomi’s story here. 

How to get help

You do not have to wait for an emergency situation to find help. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it’s important to tell someone and remember you’re not alone. If you would like support, there are lots of ways you can get help:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline – call the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247. or visit to use their contact form for a call back from one of the Helpline staff for confidential support

Make Yourself Heard – The Silent Solution system enables a 999 mobile caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted – to inform police they are in a genuine emergency. Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location. Find out more here. 

Men’s Advice Line – Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. Find out more online or call them on 0808 801 032.

Bright Sky App – Bright Sky provides support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know. Find out more and download here. 

Boots Pharmacy ‘safe rooms’ – Boots are using their consultation rooms as safe rooms for abused victims to go and seek help. While in the consultation room, people will have access to the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247), Men’s Advice Line (0808 801 032) and help to download the Bright Sky App. Find out more about Boots’ safe rooms here

NHSThe NHS has a full page dedicated to recognising the signs of domestic violence and abuse and where to get help. There’s also details of how to cover your tracks online if you are worried about someone finding out you have visited the NHS page looking for help. 

Gov.Uk – The UK Government has published a support page to help individuals particularly impacted by the current Covid-19 situation. Here’s full details.


Remember, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999.


I’m worried about someone in my team

As a manager you may be the first to notice that something’s not right. The below information is aimed to help you recognise possible warning signs and take appropriate action. Remember you could be a lifeline to getting help and ending the suffering.

Signs to look out for:

  • Avoidance of video call due to possible physical injuries
  • Excuses for frequent injuries
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Absent from work
  • Personality changes – being jumpy or nervous
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of independent communication
  • Self-blame
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Lack of money

What you can do:

  • Listen, and take care not to blame them
  • Acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse
  • Give them time to talk, but do not push them to talk if they do not want to
  • Acknowledge they’re in a frightening and difficult situation
  • Tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the abuser has said
  • Support them , encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions
  • Do not tell them to leave the relationship if they’re not ready – that’s their decision
  • Ask if they have suffered physical harm and if they have, advise them to go to a hospital or contact a GP
  • Help them report the assault to the police if they choose to
  • Be ready to provide information about organisations that offer help for people experiencing domestic abuse  – refer them to this page for further information. 
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