Staying safe

Domestic abuse

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you can’t speak and are calling on a mobile press 55 to have your call transferred to the police. Find out how to call the police when you can’t speak

For free, confidential advice, 24 hours a day contact a domestic abuse helpline

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can involve physical abuse, but can also involve forms of emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse. It can be a single incident, or a pattern of behaviour that continues over time. Abuse can include manipulative, coercive, intimidating or threatening behaviour, controlling your money, restricting contact with friends, criticising you or making you scared to say no.

Reaching out for help 

If you think you might be experiencing abuse, reaching out for help can be an important first step. Domestic abuse support services are trained to help you explore your options and guide you to make safe decisions that are right for you. 

Supporting colleagues at work

Results from a staff consultation exercise conducted by Standing together against domestic abuse found that most often staff disclose their situation to a colleague or line manager. However, many people appreciate the anonymity that Health and Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders can provide.

Standing together against domestic abuse has used the findings from their consultation work to develop a domestic abuse staff policy with guidance for staff.  

For managers/employers

Employees should be informed that if they are facing domestic abuse, you want to help them reach out to get professional help. Stay in regular contact with employees you know, or fear, may be facing abuse and if you believe there is an immediate risk of harm, dial 999.



The Home office provides comprehensive guidance on getting help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse. 

Domestic Violence UK provides information and support for domestic and emotional abuse.

Victim Support provides services for victims and survivors of any abuse or crime, regardless of when it occurred or if the crime was reported to the police.

National Centre for Domestic Violence helps people identify the early signs of domestic abuse and make decisions for a better life. 

Bright Sky is a free mobile app and website for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or who is worried about someone else. 

Refuge is the largest specialist domestic abuse organisation in the UK. They provide a free helpline available 24 hours a day.

Ask for ANI is a codeword campaign. If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help, ask for ‘ANI’ in a participating pharmacy. ‘ANI’ stands for Action Needed Immediately. If a pharmacy has the ‘Ask for ANI’ logo on display, it means they’re ready to help. They will offer you a private space, provide a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.

Safe Spaces are also available in Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug and Well pharmacies, TSB banks and independent pharmacies across the UK. Once you are inside, specialist domestic abuse support information will be available for you to access.

Support for specific groups 

Galop offers specific information and support for members of the LGBT+ community experiencing domestic. 

Signhealth offers support for deaf people who are victims of domestic abuse. 

Women's Aid provides a chat service and a directory of domestic abuse support services across the UK.

Rights of Women provides women with the legal advice and information they need to understand and use the law and their legal rights. 

Respect provides a helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.

ManKind Initiative provides a confidential helpline available for male victims of domestic abuse, as well as for their friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues and employers. 

Men’s Advice Line is a helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.

For employers 

NHS employers provides facts about domestic violence, how it can affect your staff and what you can do to support them. 

Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse provides resources to support employers including an employers’ toolkit.

Hestia’s Respond to Abuse advice line is a free resource for employers offering support, guidance or information about domestic abuse and how to support employees and colleagues experiencing domestic abuse.


Domestic abuse support services provides advice and information on services available for victims, friends and family, and perpetrators of domestic abuse in Kent and Medway. 

Domestic abuse volunteer support services (DAVSS) provides support to clients who are experiencing domestic abuse in West Kent.

DAVE (Domestic Abuse Victim Empowerment) is a support service for male victims of domestic abuse in Kent and Medway, including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

Violence against staff

You’ll find information on violence prevention and safety, as well as civility and respect, in our section for managers and leaders.