Choices works with any person who may be experiencing domestic abuse from a partner, family member or someone they’ve had an intimate relationship with.
Call our Helpline free on 08009179948 between 09:00 and 16:30 Monday to Friday.
If you're looking to flee an abusive relationship now, we can offer help and advice around how to leave safely.
Call our helpline on 0800 917 9948 and we can provide a UK-wide search of refuge vacancies.
Refuge is not the only option, and if you wish to leave by other means or remove your abuser from your home, we can discuss those other options with you and advise around keeping you and your family safe.
Phoenix is a support group for women who have experienced or who are currently experiencing domestic abuse. The groups are led by a trained facilitator and will consist of a small group of women. The groups run for 10-12 weeks and meet once a week for approximately 1 and a half hours. The groups look at the tactics used by abusive people and the impact this has on us and our ability to make decisions, also the impact it has on the children and focuses on the looking at warning signs. To make a referral either download a copy of our referral form; or, to speak to someone from the team for further information, please call 0800 917 9948 .
There are a range of reasons men have told us they haven’t sought help before. Most common is the fear that they won’t be believed.
We believe you.
Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of age, race, sexual orientation and, yes, gender. It doesn’t need to be physical. An abusive partner, ex-partner or family member may control what you do and who you see, or how your money’s spent. They may constantly shout at you or tell you you’re worthless, may intentionally humiliate you in public or at home.
You’re not the only one who’s going through this, and you don’t have to suffer alone.
Call our Helpline free on 08009179948 between 09:00 and 16:30 Monday to Friday.
1 in 7 young people have lived with domestic abuse – whether that’s experiencing it yourself or seeing it happen to your mum, dad, grandparents, guardian or carer. If someone in your home is abusing you or someone else, you’re not the only one going through it, but that does not make it OK.
Abuse doesn’t have to be physical. If someone at home is being called names – fat, stupid, lazy – or is regularly shouted at or made to do things that make you uncomfortable, those are all signs of domestic abuse.
And help and advice is available here.
The beginning of a new relationship is exciting. You can’t wait to see your BF/GF and it feels amazing to know that they feel the same way about you. During this early stage it can be very easy to overlook things that might under normal circumstances both you. You are more likely to dis miss the small things that your new partner does that make you feel uncomfortable or unsure or things may move faster than you feel comfortable with.
It's not always easy to see abuse starting in a relationship.
It can start with small things like teasing and name-calling and gradually get worse, with put-downs turning into physical abuse and/or control over time. But these “small” things can wear people down and can make it harder to take action. It can be hard to believe that the same person who says the love you could also be abusing you.
Ask yourself, does my BF/GF:
Of course these aren’t the only questions you can ask yourself. If you can think of any way your BF/GF is trying to control you, make you feel bad about yourself, isolate you from the rest of your world, or harm you physical, emotionally or sexually, then it’s time to get out.
It can be tempting to make excuses or mistake violence, possessiveness, or anger as an expression of love, but it’s important to remember that this is not how love it. It’s not healthy to be in a relationship where you feel afraid or bad about yourself.
First things first: if you’re in danger, don’t wait. Call 999 now and ask for the police. Fear of upsetting someone isn’t worth the risk to your safety.
Choices runs safe, supported accommodation in Gravesend offering support and advice for a variety of problems, and help with getting your own permanent home.
We currently accept young single women only, aged 18-25, either homeless or at risk of homelessness. We will accept women in the early stages of pregnancy depending on support needs.
We offer 12 rooms across two shared houses, 3 of which include en suite amenities such as kitchenettes and one of which is fully wheel-chair accessible and includes a wet-room. Rooms are allocated on the basis of availability and need. There are shared bath and shower rooms, and shared kitchens where en suite is not a feature.
Our supported accommodation for those in need and we will support you to find your own home.
You will work with our accommodation staff to create a support plan looking at what you need – be it knowledge of tenancies, skills to live independently or support around your physical or mental health.
These can include:
We provide internet and access to a computer if you need it to get you on the housing list and to make and follow-up on bids through HomeChoice.
We are part of PATH which stands for Prevention of Actual and Threatened Homelessness and partner with Samaratens, Porchlight, Mind and CAB. Through PATH we can link you in with services that will help with a further range of issues such as mental health and immigration.
Once you’ve applied we will check our vacancies and get in touch with you and you may be offered a one-to-one meeting to discuss what you need and what we can offer – called a needs assessment.
At that meeting we will look at your financial situation to assess whether some or all of the costs would be covered by any benefits you are either claiming or are entitled to. Typically, if you’re not working, rent can be paid in full through your benefits.
There is an additional weekly service charge to cover gas, electricity, water, council tax and other amenities.
You can apply to us directly by downloading the referral form below, or a professional supporting you can apply on your behalf.
Open to all victims of domestic abuse, One Stop Shops are a coordinated effort by domestic abuse services, solicitors, police, health, housing and other services to provide a safe space for victims.
Monday – 10.30am -11.30am
Tuesday – 9.30am - 12.00pm
Wednesday –10.30am -11.30am
Thursday – 10.00am -11.30am
Monday – 10.30am -11.30am
Tuesday – 10.30am -11.30am
Wednesday – 10am -12pm
Thursday – 10.30am -11.30am
Tuesday – 9:30am – 12:00pm
We will endeavour to answer of all your calls, however you may need to make more than one attempt.
The number will not be monitored outside of these times.
Support can be also be accessed by telephoning Victim Support on 0808 168 9276 for assessment and referral to your local service.
In an emergency please call the police on 999.
Domestic abuse is the repeated, habitual controlling behaviour used by one person to intimidate another, within an intimate or family type relationship. It is the misuse of power in order to gain control.
Domestic Abuse can be:
Domestic violence is a crime. We all have a role to play in ending it.
Domestic abuse is caused by one person’s desire for power and control over another. Although anyone (man or woman) can be an abuser, statistics show that life-threatening or "high-risk" domestic abuse is most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men.
Abusers are careful about who they abuse and about when and where and how they carry out abuse - this shows that they are making a choice and therefore, have not ‘lost control’ but, in fact, the very opposite.
There is no single reason as to why domestic abuse continues to happen but these are some of the things which are understood to contribute:
It is not caused by alcohol, drugs, unemployment, stress or ill health. These are only excuses or justifications for an abuser's behaviour.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Domestic abuse happens to people regardless of:
An abuser can be anyone. An abuser chooses to use abusive behaviour in order to get what they want.
Abusers usually behave differently in public than they do in their intimate/ family type relationships. Many abusers may seem charming, hold down important jobs, be well respected in their communities and appear helpful to others - this makes it even more difficult for people to believe that abuse is happening.
Sadly, domestic abuse affecrs 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetimes
Less than half of all domestic abuse incidents are actually reported to the police.
The police receive 1 call every minute about domestic abuse.
A person’s experience of domestic abuse will be very individual but all abusive relationships have some common factors - things that lots of victims have said happened to them. If you have to regularly change your behaviour because you are scared of your partner/family member’s reaction, you are probably being abused.
This list might help you to think about whether you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.
|Alcohol and drugs make him/her violent.||Domestic abuse is not caused by alcohol, drugs, unemployment, stress or ill health. These are only excuses or a way to justify an abuser's behaviour.|
|Domestic abuse only happens in poor families.||Domestic abuse can happen in any neighbourhood, abusers can be from any ‘class’, they can be of any age, be able bodied or have a disability, belong to any religious group, be of any ethnic background and abusers can be male or female and of any sexual orientation|
|Violence and abuse are about anger and loss of control.||Abusers are careful about who, how and where they abuse, showing choice. They are aware of their actions and are therefore not ‘out of control’. Ask yourself: when he or she gets angry and throws around "whatever's to hand" are they breaking their own things or yours? Abusers use abusive behaviours to get what they want and gain control.|
|Stress causes domestic abuse.||Domestic abuse is not ‘caused’ by stress; domestic abuse is a misuse of power it is behaviour which has been learned and is carried out with intent. Abusers often blame other people or things for their behaviour. Being stressed is just an excuse, a way of avoiding taking responsibility.|
|Victims of abuse often provoke and ask for it.||You can’t make someone hit you, it is their choice, their responsibility. Often victims go out of their way to avoid conflict in a relationship and the abuse still continues. Nobody ever asks for abuse, abuse is never the fault of the victim.|
|People who abuse are mentally ill, they can’t help it.||Victims often feel trapped in their abusive relationship, by a number of things including fear, shame, lack of money and/or debts, worries over children, low self esteem, still loving the abuser, lack of knowledge about the help they could get, being isolated by location or language or complex needs.|
|Domestic abuse can’t be that bad or victims would leave.||Abusers are careful about who, how and where they abuse, showing choice. They are aware of their actions and are therefore not ‘out of control’. Ask yourself: when he or she gets angry and throws around whatever's to hand are they breaking their own things or yours? Abusers use abusive behaviours to get what they want and gain control.|
|Domestic abuse is private; you shouldn’t get involved.||Domestic violence is a crime. We all have a role to play in ending it.|
A Personal Safety Plan is a checklist which helps you to think about how to be safer when you are experiencing domestic abuse or thinking about leaving an abusive situation.
Many local Councils run a Sanctuary Scheme which is designed to give additional security measures to victims of domestic abuse who wish to remain in their own homes.
You can’t stop someone from behaving in an abusive way, only they can choose to stop.
But you can do some things to help protect yourself and your family, you may already be doing some things that help to keep you safe.
Having a safety plan is about keeping you as safe as possible, looking at the dangers (risks) and planning how to make them less dangerous, where possible.
Many victims of domestic violence say that they know when something is going to happen, in this case you could:
A safety plan is something you can do yourself, however, It may not be safe for you to have a printed or written copy of the safety plan in your house but you could still take some of the ideas from the safety plan to put in place and find a safe place for you to store the phone numbers you may need in an emergency?
A Choices worker can help you to make your plan.
Any other worker that is involved with you or your family could help you to make a safety plan.
A Choices worker can also carry out a risk assessment with you to highlight the risk factors in your relationship and to help you to think through your options to reduce these risks.