Get support by email
We offer support from the specialist workers via email.
We will respond to your email within 5 working days.
When you email us it’s very important that you specify if it is safe to respond to your email address. This would mean that no-one else has access to that email account. If you are emailing from what appears to be a shared email account, we will not be able to respond for safety reasons. If we have reason to believe that your email address is unsafe to respond to or your devices are unsafe (for example, if you tell us you’re not sure if your abuser has access to your account), we may be unable to respond. We are unable to open any attachments sent to this inbox. For more information on this, visit our page on covering your tracks online.
We can only offer limited information by email as we don’t have the resources to provide on-going support or in-depth information in this way.
Please note we can not respond to emails by telephone as safety may be compromised.
Women’s Aid is clear that even if a child is not being directly hurt, witnessing physical, verbal and emotional abuse can have a serious detrimental effect on him/her. Women’s Aid aims to give each woman space to explore her options and support her to make safe choices for her and her children.
However, if we consider a child is at risk we have a duty to take appropriate action to minimise the risk of harm. This may include working with a woman to contact Children’s Services or, where necessary, making a referral ourselves.
Who can email for information and support?
- Women and children who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic abuse.
- Friends, family, colleagues and neighbours seeking to support women and children who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic abuse.
- Professionals supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse. You can also find more information regarding our dedicated service for professionals here.
What can I email about?
There is no typical email. The support workers email people about a wide range of topics including, but by no means limited to:
- Discussing what domestic violence and abuse is
- Safety plans for staying in and leaving an abusive relationship
- Safety plans after separation from an abusive partner
- Looking for safe accommodation and refuge spaces
- What to expect when services get involved
- Looking for face to face or local support
- Looking for emotional support after an abusive relationship has ended
- Being worried about a friend, colleague or family member
- Professionals looking for help for their clients
- Signposting to other sources of information and advice
Some people who contact us are reaching out about their concerns for the first time.
The support workers understand how hard this first step can be. Many can feel that the abuse is their fault. The support workers are skilled in offering information and support and do not judge. Some people wonder if their worries are justified, or if their situation is really of concern, some people may find it easier to write things down.
Others may need help in working out what they want to do next. The support workers will never tell anyone what to do, but instead will explore the options available to them.
I’m not sure it’s domestic abuse. He hasn’t hit me yet, or it was only once.
Domestic abuse isn’t always physical, but it is always abuse and just as high risk as physical violence. Also physical abuse isn’t just hitting. It is pushing, pulling, kicking, pinning you down, holding you by the neck and arms, pinching and scratching.
For more information, go to our page on What is domestic abuse?
I’m not sure I should email, I’m not in danger
You can explore in safety and confidence with the support worker what is worrying you in terms of your partner or family member’s behaviour towards you, to make plans if you need for your future safety.
Is it confidential? Will you tell anyone else or report me to the police or report me to social services?
Your contact with us is confidential. You do not have to tell the support worker anything you don’t want to, and you do not have to give your name or location. Any information you do give will not be shared with any other professionals without your permission.
The only circumstances in which we will break confidentiality are if we believe a child is at risk or you are a vulnerable adult. We will explain this to you if we feel this is the situation and if we believe that breaking confidentiality is the only option to keep you and your children safe. For more information on this, please refer to our safeguarding and confidentiality statement.
What’s the core purpose of your email service?
The purpose of our services is to give women, children and their supporters the confidential help and information they need. Our main aim is to keep women and children safe.
What kind of support is given via email?
The email service can offer general information on domestic abuse, and support workers will respond according to a person’s needs. They may for example:
- Give information on the Survivors Handbook, or our Live Chat service.
- Give information to women about emergency safe accommodation for them (and any children they may have)
- Refer women to the NWTA project which provides additional support to women and children who have multiple barriers in accessing refuge accommodation
- Signposting towards services who can provide legal advice or advice on welfare benefits
- Give information on housing, and other signposting options
- Carry out safety planning for staying, leaving immediately or leaving in the future
- Offer emotional support and (if appropriate) give information on counselling and other services
- Signpost women to face-to-face support via community based drop-in or outreach domestic violence services in their locality
In addition to offering confidential support and information, the support workers are a source of practical help and information about housing rights and entitlements, information on getting injunctions, or reassurance about calling the police.
I have already emailed once, can I call again?
Yes you can, however please be aware that we can only give limited support and won’t be able to provide ongoing support by email.
Who responds to emails?
Fully trained and experienced female support workers.
Is it safe to email?
If there is a possibility of the abuser accessing your emails then it may be safest to create a new email account on a free email service, and using it on a public compter (eg at a library). If you are using your phone or home computer, always log out, and delete any sent emails just in case.
If you are emailing from what appears to be a shared email account, we will not be able to respond for safety reasons. If we have reason to believe that your email address is unsafe to respond to or your devices are unsafe (for example, if you tell us you’re not sure if your abuser has access to your account), we may be unable to respond.
Please note we cannot respond to emails by telephone as safety may be compromised. We are unable to open any attachments sent to this inbox.
For more information on this, visit our page on covering your tracks online.
I don’t speak English can you still help?
In some languages we have limited support available via email. You may also want to contact your local domestic violence refuges and services that may have workers that speak other languages or access to a translation service.
You’re not alone. We know reaching out for help can be hard but we’re here. We will always support you without judgement.