Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. This page aims to help you find out how to recognise the signs and understand how you can access help and support.
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Domestic abuse, also called domestic violence or relationship abuse, can include emotional, psychological, physical, financial and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.


  • Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured you can call 999. It is important to keep your phone charged and on your persons where possible if you think you are subject to domestic abuse. 
  • Finding a safe space. If possible try and find somewhere you feel safe. If this isn't possible and you are on campus you can call Security on 01227 922355.  
  • Safe Zone. You can also use the Safe Zone app to immediately contact Security if you are on campus.  
  • If you are not in immediate danger, you can speak to your GP/healthcare professional or call the police non-emergency number 101, complete an online report or attend any local police station. 
Recognising the signs of domestic violence and abuse:

There are multiple ways that someone may be subjected to domestic abuse, but it's always about having power and control over you. Often we recognise red flags in the situations of others but it can be challenging to see this in our own relationships. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have an abusive partner or family member. 

Emotional abuse

Does the person ever: 

  • Belittle you, or put you down? 
  • Blame you for the abuse or arguments? 
  • Deny that abuse is happening, or play it down? 
  • Isolate you from family and friends? 
  • Stop you going to University or work? 
  • Make unreasonable demands for your attention? 
  • Tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think? 
  • Control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?  
Psychological abuse

Does the person ever: 

  • Call you names? 
  • Shout or swear at you? 
  • Ignore or isolate you? 
  • Exclude you from meaningful events or activities? 
  • Threaten to hurt or kill you? 
  • Destroy things that belong to you? 
  • Stand over you, invade your personal space? 
  • Threaten to kill themselves or your children? 
  • Read your emails, texts or letters? 
Physical abuse

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways. Do they ever: 

  • Slap, hit or punch you? 
  • Push or shove you?  
  • Bite or kick you? 
  • Burn you?  
  • Choke you or hold you down? 
  • Throw things?  
Financial abuse

Does the person ever: 

  • Control how money is spent? 
  • Give you an “allowance”? 
  • Deny you direct access to bank accounts, loans or grants? 
  • Forbid you from working? 
  • Run up large debts on joint accounts without your permission or take actions that lead to you having bad credit? 
  • Force you to be involved in fraudulent activity? 
  • Spend money on themselves but not allow you to do the same? 
  • Give you presents or pay for things and expect something in return? 
Sexual abuse 
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whatever gender. Does the person ever: 

  • Touch you in a way you don't want to be touched? 
  • Make unwanted sexual demands? 
  • Hurt you during sex? 
  • Pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom? 
  • Pressure you to have sex (including with other people)? 
  • If someone has sex with you when you don't want to, this is rape, even if you are in a relationship.
A third of domestic violence and abuse against women escalates during pregnancy. If the relationship is already abusive, it can get worse. Find out more about domestic violence in pregnancy. 

If you would like to read more or feel you would benefit from speaking to someone about your experiences, the “What Support is Available” page linked here has information on charities, support lines and support available at university.

For more information and to find out more about using Report and Support, please take a look at these pages

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