Get help by email
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.
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
Then this is the best time to contact us. It is best to start looking at a relationship that is or may be abusive before things begin to escalate.
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.
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 advice 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:
- Refer callers to the online Survivors Handbook, or to our Live Chat service.
- Refer women (and any children they may have) to emergency safe accommodation
- Refer women to the NWTA project which provides additional support to women and children who have multiple barriers in accessing refuge accommodation
- Provide information about legal rights, housing, or welfare rights, and options and referral to relevant services and professions
- Carry out safety planning for staying, leaving immediately or leaving in the future
- Offer emotional support and (if appropriate) refer to counselling and other services
- Refer 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.
Who answers the phone?
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.
You’re not alone. We know reaching out for help can be hard but we’re here. We will always support you without judgement.