Date last updated: 20 October 2017

Domestic abuse

It’s important to keep yourself and your children safe during separation. If your ex-partner is threatening, violent or abusive towards you or your child, remember that help is available.

What is domestic abuse?

Find out more from Women’s Aid about what domestic abuse is and the different types of domestic violence that can affect you and your family.

Getting help and advice

To get instant advice about domestic abuse call the National Domestic Violence Helpline – available 24 hours a day, every day. The number is 0808 2000 247 and calls are free.

See Rights of Women’s advice about keeping yourself and your child safe – including how to get emergency court orders. Visit the Rights of Women website or call their helplines. The Survivor’s Handbook produced by Women’s Aid is a practical guide to help with recovering from domestic abuse and getting support.

Emotional support and practical information is available online and by phone for men who have experienced domestic abuse. Visit or call Mankind. Their Helpline number is 01823 334244.

Child maintenance

There are ways you can claim child maintenance safely if you have experienced domestic abuse – read our online advice to find out how.

Housing and benefits

If you are leaving your home due to domestic violence and need to find somewhere safe to live, you can get specialist support to help you. There are also some special rules to support you if you need to claim benefits. Call our helpline for more detailed advice.

Tips from single parents

There is a rainbow after the storm

I'm so glad I took the steps I did to make my life better. I really want to show other victims of domestic violence that there is a rainbow after the storm. Life does get better. And the only person who can change the situation is you.

Mum, 2 children

You have an in-build survival mechanism

We were moved into a B&B after I left and I did my university finals there, writing essays in our little room with two kids playing around me. I don’t know how I did it. Single parents have an in-built survival mechanism that just kicks in. You dig deep and you keep going for your kids.

Mum, 2 children

Things can turn out ok

Every day I’m grateful I’m no longer in an abusive relationship, the boys are happy and doing well, and I’m really proud of them. And I just manage to do things, because if you don’t then no one else will.

Mum, 2 children

Ending it might be the best thing you do

The relationship I was in with my children’s father wasn’t good, he was emotionally abusive. It took me a long time to get over things once I’d made the decision to end it with him. Even when it’s really bad, you still want to make it work for the kids. Looking back now, I realise that ending it was the best thing I ever did.

Mum, 2 children

National Domestic Violence Helpline

To get instant advice about domestic abuse call the National Domestic Violence Helpline - available 24 hours a day, every day. The number is 0808 2000 247 and calls are free.

Call now

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