Domestic abuse is any incident of physical, emotional, sexual, financial or mental abuse between adults who are or have been intimate partners of family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off event. It tends to escalate in frequency and severity over time.
Is domestic abuse just happening to me?
No; it’s more common than people think. Research shows that it can affect one in four women in their lifetimes and on average, a woman is assaulted at least 35 times before she seeks help. Domestic abuse claims, on average, the lives of two women each week and 30 men a year.
Is it my fault?
No, everyone is entitled to live in a safe environment free from fear. Nobody has to put up with control or abuse by another person. Talking about it to someone can help you make sense of what is happening to you and will mean that you are not alone.
Where can I go for help?
- Riverside Children’s Centre in Kingsmead Road. Every Thursday – 9.30am to 12.30pm
- Herne Bay – Poppy Children’s Centre in Kings Road. Every Tuesday – 9.30am to 12pm
Every week there is a solicitor available to give legal advice and a representative from the Canterbury domestic abuse charity Rising Sun. Information on refuges, state benefits, debt, housing, health, drug or alcohol problems and many other issues is also available.
The Canterbury one stop shop has been operating since June 2009. Its continued success led to the launch of a One-Stop Shop in Herne Bay on Tuesday 6 November. Both bring together many organisations including the Canterbury Community Safety Unit, Home Start, Casa Support, the Epic Trust, Family Action, Canterbury City Council, Kent Police, housing associations, health visitors and many others. Some of the organisations visit weekly, some monthly and others are at the end of the phone if needed. All these organisations understand that sometimes all a person wants is a place to go where someone will listen to them. They are available to listen or offer help and advice if needed. For more information on the One Stop Shops phone 01227 452 852.
If you or your family are in immediate danger don’t be afraid to call the police on 999. Otherwise, please contact Kent Police on the non-emergency telephone number 101.
Alternatively, you can contact the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge on 0808 2000 247, or the Mens’ Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.
Domestic abuse forum
The role of the Canterbury District Domestic Violence Forum is to address issues of domestic abuse across the district by highlighting the severe long-term effects of domestic abuse on adults and children.
The forum also raises awareness of the support services available locally. The Canterbury District Domestic Violence Forum was established in 1994 and has a membership of more than 100 professionals from key agencies from both the voluntary and statutory sector.
The forum is committed to a partnership approach to tackling domestic abuse.