Information for people who are abused

Domestic violence is usually about one person’s desire to control their partner, even if they are not aware of this themselves.

The government definition of domestic violence is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality'.

This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

Physical abuse

The most recognisable form of abuse. It can range from a slap or a shove to a black eye, cut lip, broken bone. In the most extreme cases it can result in death. Don’t underestimate what is happening to you. Over time, the violence usually gets worse.

Sexual abuse

Your partner should not use force or threats to make you have sex. They should not make you perform sexual acts with which you are uncomfortable.

Emotional abuse

Can include mental torture, blackmail, threats to disown you or kill your children. It can also be controlling – meaning you are not allowed out of the home on your own, or to make contact with your family or friends or to have access to money or obtain a job of your choice

Financial abuse

This may include your partner taking your money; stopping you from working; placing all bills and debts in your name; or monitoring how you spend money and other financial resources.

Psychological abuse

Leaving a violent partner may not end the abuse and it may get worse. Most stalkers are ex-partners. If your ex-partner is harassing you or others, this should be taken seriously.

Domestic violence is not the victim's fault. You are not to blame and you are not alone. There are many others in your situation and help is available.

Details of the main local and national support organisations can be found in the Who can help? section on this page.

Further support available

Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS)

Delivered in partnership by Leeds Women’s Aid incorporating HALT, Behind Closed Doors and Womens Health Matters.


0113 246 0401
(24-hour helpline)


LDVS delivers community and emergency accommodation-based services across the city for women, men and families experiencing domestic, sexual and honour based violence, forced marriage, harassment, stalking and coercive and controlling behaviour.

LDVS has workers specially trained to work with people from often ignored communities such as LGBT+, Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities and BME groups. LDVS also works with young people and older people and offer a range of face to face, telephone and group services, both appointment-based and drop in.

All other services and can be contacted directly through their respective websites:

Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL)

For women experiencing sexual abuse now or at any time in life.


0808 802 3344


07797 803 211



Basis Yorkshire

Information and support for females and transgender women working in the sex industry, girls experiencing child sexual exploitation, or women who have experienced CSE historically.


0113 243 0036



National Jewish Women’s Aid


0808 8010 500
(Mon – Thurs: 9.30am – 9.30pm)


The Polish Domestic Violence Helpline


0800 061 4004
(free national helpline open Wednesday, 9.30am - 2.30pm & Friday, 9.30am - 12.30pm)


Helpline manager

0127 074 7690

Network for Surviving Stalking


0808 8020 300



For information about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence

Clare’s Law or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)


0808 2000 247


0808 801 0327

LGBT+ people

020 7704 2040

Polish speakers

0800 061 4004