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What can I do if someone in my family is abusing me?

Domestic violence or abuse includes all kinds of behaviour that is meant to hurt or frighten you. It can happen to anyone: women and men; gay, lesbian and straight (heterosexual) people; and people of any age or background.

Abuse ranges from physical violence to cruel words and threats that are meant to scare you. You do not have to tolerate this kind of behaviour. There are laws to protect you and any children who live with you. The police, social services, medical services and courts can also help to keep you safe from harm.


What if I think it’s my fault?

However you think the problem started, you have a right not to suffer violence or abuse. There are laws to protect you, even if you feel that you started the argument or whatever led to the abuse. Domestic abuse is wrong, whatever the circumstances.


What if it’s happened before?

You can take action, whether it has happened for the first time or many times. You can get protection even if you have already had help and then got together again with your partner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help again over problems with your partner. The law is still there to protect you.


What if I just want to be safe but don’t want the other person to be punished?

There are several ways of dealing with violence and abuse. You don’t have to go all the way to a court case if doing something else will protect you. However, if the police are involved, the case can go to court even if you don’t want it to, depending on how serious the crime was and how much evidence they have.

What practical steps should I take if I'm being abused?

If you're being abused, or you're afraid of someone in your home, there are steps you can take to keep you (and your children, if you have any) safe.

What if I think I may have to leave my home?

If you've been abused in the past, or you think you are going to be abused, you may be able to make a planned escape and leave with money, clothes and other things you will need. Here's what you should do if you need to leave quickly.

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