What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between people over the age of 16 years who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality, that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.

People may experience domestic abuse regardless of ethnicity, religion, class, age, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. Domestic abuse can also occur in a range of relationships including heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships, and also within extended families.

Perpetrators choose to behave abusively to get what they want and gain
control and therefore the perpetrator is responsible for their own behaviour. Abusers come from all walks of life, from any ethnic group, religion, class or neighbourhood, and of any age. They do not have to use violence or abuse.

Domestic abuse can be some of the following;

  • Verbal, emotional and psychological abuse
  • Controlling your time, where you go and who you see
  • Continually monitoring your whereabouts / stalking
  • Rape, sexual coercion and control of pregnancy
  • Financial abuse
  • Isolating you from family, friends, support networks
  • Hurting or upsetting others (including children) to upset you
  • Physical violence
  • Intimidation, threats to hurt you, your property, children or pets

The Family Safety Unit can also support you if you are aged 16 years and over and are at risk or know someone at risk of the following Harmful Practices – female genital mutilation, honour based abuse or violence, early child marriage, forced marriage.

How the Family Support Unit can support you

Wirral Family Safety Unit is a team of Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors (IDVAs). The IDVA is independent of police or children’s services and can support you if you are a victim of domestic abuse and you are 16 years or over.

  • An IDVA can support you and help you to understand what your options are. They will assess your risk and provide you with a support plan
  • If you are in an abusive or dangerous relationship and want to end the relationship, and want to end the relationship and are concerned for your safety, the IDVA can help and advise you
  • You may wish to leave or end the relationship but are concerned about how you will manage financially, the IDVA can give you information
  • You may have concerns around housing and the IDVA can help you access support and advice you
  • You may wish to go to court for civil action to apply for an order or injunction to support you to be safe, the IDVA will be able to assist you
  • You may have concerns about the impact your relationship is having on your children and feel they may need support
  • You may be experiencing abuse from a family member (eg Teenager or adult child). An IDVA can help and advise.
  • You WILL be listened to. You WILL be believed. If the IDVA is unable to advise or support you, they will identify someone who can.

At least 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse at
some time in their adult life. Women on average are assaulted up to 35
times before they report the violence to the Police. The Police receive a
call relating to a domestic abuse incident every minute in the UK.

Contact us

The Wirral Family Safety Unit can be contacted Monday to Friday,
9am to 5pm, on 0151 666 4914.

Wirral Council is committed to offering the appropriate advice, information or support to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse, however, in the event of an emergency situation, the Police should be contacted via 999.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or wish to speak to someone for
support and advice you can also contact:

  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: (run in partnership between Womens Aid and Refuge). 0808 2000 247 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • ManKind: helping men escape domestic abuse 01823 334 244 weekdays 10am to 4pm
  • Galop: National LGBT Domestic Abuse helpline 0800 999 5428