Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone by anyone. Find out how to recognise the signs and where to get help.

If you're worried someone might see you have been on this page, find out how to cover your tracks online.

Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse, can include emotional, psychological, physical, financial and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.

Recognising the signs of domestic violence and abuse:

There are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about having power and control over you.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have an abusive partner or family member.

Emotional abuse

Does the person ever:

·        belittle you, or put you down?

·        blame you for the abuse or arguments?

·        deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?

·        isolate you from family and friends?

·        stop you going to university or work?

·        make unreasonable demands for your attention?

·        accuse you of flirting or having affairs?

·        tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?

·        control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?

Psychological abuse

Does the person ever:

·        call you names?

·        yell or swear at you?

·        ignore or isolate you?

·        Exclude you from meaningful events or activities?

·        threaten to hurt or kill you?

·        destroy things that belong to you?

·        stand over you, invade your personal space?

·        threaten to kill themselves or the children?

·        read your emails, texts or letters?

Physical abuse

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.

Do they ever:

·        slap, hit or punch you?

·        push or shove you?

·        bite or kick you?

·        burn you?

·        choke you or hold you down?

·        throw things?

Financial abuse

Does the person ever:

·        Control how money is spent?

·        Give you an “allowance”?

·        Deny you direct access to bank accounts, loans or grants?

·        Forbid you from working?

·        Run up large debts on joint accounts without your permission or take actions that leads to you having bad credit?

·        Force you to be involved in fraudulent activity?

·        Spend money on themselves but not allow you to do the same?

·        Give you presents or pay for things and expect something in return?

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female.

Does the person ever:

·        touch you in a way you don't want to be touched?

·        make unwanted sexual demands?

·        hurt you during sex?

·        pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?

·        pressure you to have sex (including with other people)?

·        If someone has sex with you when you don't want to, this is rape, even if you are in a relationship

A third of domestic violence and abuse against women escalates during pregnancy. If the relationship is already abusive, it can get worse. Find out more about domestic violence in pregnancy.

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship or experiencing abuse from a family member, there are lots of people who can help you.

In an emergency:

Report to A & E, Call 999 and request an ambulance

Report to Police, Call 999. There is an option for silent support if talking will put you in danger.

If it is not an emergency, you can speak to your GP/healthcare professional

or call the Police non-emergency number 101 or attend any local Police station

Rights of Women have detailed advice about reporting to the police and a guide to criminal investigations

There are also a lot of independent support organisations that can support you. 

You can access the Athena service, run by Refuge. They provide confidential, non-judgmental support to those living, studying or working in the borough of Lewisham who are experiencing gender-based violence.

Their services support women and girls aged 13 and over, and men aged 16 or over – including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or are unsure of their sexuality. The Athena service also supports transgender clients who identify as male, female, as another gender, or are questioning their gender identity. Tel: 0800 112 4052 Email:

You can also call the national domestic violence number, this is open 24/7 and can be anonymous: 0808 2000 247

Goldsmiths Support for Students

  • Goldsmiths Wellbeing Team. The wellbeing team are available for advice and guidance for specific issues and for ongoing wellbeing support for students. They can support you if you have been accused. Appointments can be booked through the Student Wellbeing Service by contacting 
  • The SU Advice.  The SU Advice Service offers independent advice on the following matters: the university complaints process; academic result appeals; academic progress committee appeals; student conduct matters and academic issues. They can be contacted by completing this form:
  • Campus Support Officers. This staff team works out of hours as a first point of contact for absolutely anything, seven days a week 6pm to 6am. They are based in Loring Management Centre (Accommodation Office/Security), in St James. You can contact them on 020 7919 7284 or 6pm - 6am

Goldsmiths Support for Staff

o    Confidential support, and is independent from Goldsmiths

o    Accessible via phone, e-mail, instant messaging and website

o    No cost to you

o    Professional consultation, counselling, information, resources and referrals to services in your local area

o    No limit to the number of issues you can get support on

    • Staff CounsellorThe staff counselling service aims to offer support promptly.
    • Trade Unions. Goldsmiths recognises two campus trade unions. UNISON and UCU. Staff who are members can contact them for support and advice.
    • Staff Wellbeing. Goldsmiths has a staff wellbeing hub on Goldmine where you can find a variety of initiatives developed to support staff.

Other sources of support

  • Respect. Information and support for men who experience domestic violence. Advice line open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm or email
  • Women and Girls’ Network. Counselling and support to help women and girls recover from violence. Tel: 0808 801 0770 
  • Revenge Porn Helpline: Open10.00am-4.00pm, Monday to Friday - 0345 600 0459
  • Galop. is a charity that supports lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer people affected by sexual and domestic violence. They run London and National phone helpline as as well as an online chat service Saturday & Sunday: 15:00 - 19:00
  • Respond. Helps children and adults with learning disabilities who have experienced abuse or trauma, as well as those who have abused others, through psychotherapy, advocacy and other support. Tel: 0808 808 0700 
  • Women’s Trust. Specialist domestic violence counselling in some boroughs (NOT Lewisham), but support groups and workshops are pan-London



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