Sign in to MyHR

Spot the warning signs of domestic violence

Last reviewed on 02 July 2020

We know that as people are currently spending more time at home, those that are victims of domestic violence may find themselves isolated with their abuser.

Domestic abuse covers a range of damaging behaviour, not just physical violence and there is help for you. It can happen in heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Examples include:

  • Verbal abuse – Belittling, insulting, or demeaning someone with words
  • Physical violence – Such as pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking or using weapons
  • Controlling – Preventing you from socialising, having contact with your friends, colleagues or family
  • Financial abuse – Taking control of your finances, denying you money or limiting your independence
  • Sexual abuse – Pressuring or forcing you to have sex when you don't want to (rape), touching or groping, making you watch pornography
  • Online abuse – Insulting or threatening someone via social media, messaging, or email

If you are in immediate danger call 999 straight away. Ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls. If you can, stay out of the kitchen and bathroom until the police arrive.

The silent solution

This is a police solution to help you if you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Then follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.

Here is a quick guide on what to do if you can’t speak.

Inspire North, a charity who provide domestic abuse support across Yorkshire and the North of England suggest taking the following steps:

  • Put in place a safety plan – We encourage people to plan in advance how they might respond to a crisis situation
  • Tell your neighbours – If there are any neighbours you can trust, tell them to call the police if there are any signs of violence
  • Plan for an emergency – If possible, pack an emergency bag for both you and your children. Hide it
  • Keep a small sum of money on you at all times

Our Co-operate platform allows you to offer your support to people in your local community and you can also ask for support if you need it. If you have lots of friends and family to connect with, can you reach out to other colleagues who may be lonely?

Spotting negativity in others

Listen out for colleagues excessively blaming themselves, overly focusing on bad news or events, predicting doom and gloom, or demonstrating exaggerated negativity in their language.

How to help colleagues turn fear and negative thoughts into positive actions:

  • Recognise and catch the thought – make a list of the thoughts
  • Challenge the negativity and explore the evidence to support the negative thought
  • Release the judgement around the thought
  • Flip it to something positive
  • Practice and practice some more

Other things you can encourage

Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage and ensure information is only gained from credible sources. Encourage connection with support mechanisms of colleagues, friends and family whilst social distancing.

Reach out for professional support

It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to ask for help. Find out more in the useful link and support sections.