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If your friend may be experiencing domestic abuse...

How can my friend get help and what is likely to happen?

Help is available for your friend from a variety of different agencies via their helpline numbers. Each agency will have its own procedure for responding to these calls, some of which are detailed below and throughout this website.

Through the following pages, you will find walk through guides to how each of these agencies will deal with your friend's call, and the support they can expect from them.

Your friend can go directly to the police as explained in the below pages, but remember that this can be done in conjunction with the a support of another organisation, if they would prefer.

What happens when my friend rings a helpline, or an agency?

Your friend / family member / neighbour can get help from a variety of different agencies by calling their helpline or office numbers. Each agency will have its own procedure for dealing with these calls. Through the following links, you will find information on how each of these agencies operates, their opening hours, and the support your friend can expect if you call them.

They can also go directly to the police as detailed through the below pages, but remember that this can be done in conjunction with a support organisation, if they would prefer.

Click on one of the following links to find out more about:

Further agencies can be found within our Victims Service Directory.

Why should my friend contact Warwickshire Police?

In an emergency you should contact Warwickshire Police by dialling 999 - don't put your friend, their family or yourself at risk. Warwickshire Police can also be contacted on 01926 415000.

If your friend decides to contact Warwickshire Police, you should be aware that they can put a range of protection measures in place.

Should the risk to your friend and their family be considered high, they may be loaned a mobile phone so they can contact Warwickshire Police directly in an emergency. Other measures that could be put in place include 'flagging up' your friend's address within Warwickshire Police's control centre, so that calls from their address would be prioritised.

Please remember that:

  • Your friend / family member will be listened to
  • Warwickshire Police will take your friend / family member seriously
  • Their aim is to protect your friend, and their family
  • Warwickshire Police have specially trained domestic abuse officers
  • Your friend / family member can be referred from Warwickshire Police to relevant support agencies
  • There are now specialist courts that specialise in domestic abuse / violence

"Article 2 of the Human Rights Act is the right to life. The police are obligated by law to manage the risk to your friend and their family." Warwickshire Police

What happens when my friend rings Warwickshire Police?

What if my friend doesn't want to leave their partner?

Support agencies fully recognise that not everyone wants, or is ready, to leave their abusive partner.  The role of a support agency is to fully inform your friend / family member of all the options available to them and support them with whatever choice they make.  No one will be judging you or the decisions they make, but will offer emotional and practical support that best meets their needs.

Your friend / family member can receive support in a variety of ways - either over the phone or in person at a venue and time that is suitable for them.  They will be provided with relevant information and other contact numbers if necessary.  The support agency will ensure that they double check that they can contact your friend / family member via a time and method that is safe, and will never leave messages on answer phones or send letters or leaflets through the post.

The support offered will be completely confidential - unless there is a concern regarding child protection issues.

Your friend / family member will be advised on measures to take should leaving become absolutely necessary for their safety and how they can prepare an 'emergency bag' for such an event - what to pack and how to store it safely within the home (or at a friends or relatives).

If it is felt that specialist support is required - such as counselling - then your friend / relative can be referred back to their GP who can organise this if necessary. Their supporter can help them through this process and even accompany them to the GP if they wish. 

Support agencies fully recognise that they may need to refer your friend / family member on to other agencies for different types of support - but this will never be done without your knowledge or consent - and is just another means of offering them the very best support for their situation.

Your friend / family member can also receive advice and information on how their abuser can get help to stop their behaviour.

Safety planning

Support agencies can help you to create a safety plan to help you keep safe in your home while deciding what to do. Making a safety plan can help you whether you have decided to stay in your relationship or if you are thinking about leaving.

If you make a safety plan you might want to keep it in your head, if you write it down do not leave it somewhere it might be found. You may wish to leave it with a friend or family member who you trust.

Some things you might consider in making a plan are:

  • Is there someone who you can tell about the violence and perhaps ask them to call the police if they for example hear strange noises coming from your home.
  • If you leave home which places can you go to?
  • Have you got important phone numbers at hand. e.g. family, support workers, helplines, police?
  • Can you keep originals or copies of important documents safely? (e.g. Identification, Benefit books ,Birth certificates for you and your children,Medical cards, Phone card, mobile phone or change for a pay phone Money, bank books, credit cards, Keys - house, car, office, Medicine or medication, Driver's license, passports, Home office papers, Tenancy agreements, Insurance papers, Address books, Pictures of sentimental value, Any proof of abuse, notes, crime reference numbers, names and numbers of professionals engaged)
  • Are you able to pack some spare clothes in a bag and leave it at a friends?
    Which part of your home do you feel safest in?
  • Can you predict times and situations where the violence may occur?
  • Is there somewhere for your children to go if violence occurs?
  • Are some areas of your house more dangerous? (e.g. bathroom, kitchen?)
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