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What is domestic violence and abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse mainly takes place in intimate relationships, but can occur in a familial situation. It can be experienced from a current or former partner, siblings, parents or children. It includes a number of different types of behaviour and power and control tactics. It is not just about physical violence. It can include:

  • Controlling and coercive behaviour towards you
  • Shouting, mocking, accusing, name calling, verbally threatening you, family and pets
  • Threatening suicide, lying to family & friends about you
  • Putting you down, ignoring you, blaming you, isolating you from friends and family
  • Forcing you to perform sexual acts
  • Punching, slapping, hitting, biting, kicking, hair pulling, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling

All these are behaviours of an abusive person. All of these are acts of domestic violence or abuse.

Who does it happen to?

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone!

  • It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman
  • It doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay
  • It doesn’t matter how much you earn
  • It doesn’t matter if you have children
  • It doesn’t matter what your religion is
  • It doesn’t matter what your race is

What can I do?

If you are in an abusive relationship:

  • Remember you are not to blame
  • Remember it is not acceptable
  • Remember you are not alone

How can I leave?

You can always prepare to leave your partner even if you are not ready at this moment in time. There may also be a need to leave in an emergency.

The tips below if followed can help you prepare to leave:

  1. Keep your mobile phone charged at all times
  2. Have change to hand in case you need to use a public phone
  3. Keep some emergency money to one side (this may be for a public transport, food or somewhere to stay overnight)
  4. Always have your house and/or car keys to hand
  5. Make sure your documents like passports, birth certificates, benefit books etc. are in a safe place that you can get to easily. You may want to leave them with a trusted friend or relative
  6. Don’t forget to take any medicines you need with you
  7. Have copies of any legal papers i.e. Injunctions
  8. Do your children know how to contact the emergency services? Do they know important telephone numbers like family members?
  9. Leave extra clothes and money at a friends or relatives house

Who can help?


For emergency help or advice

General switchboard (24 Hours): 101
In an emergency (24 Hours): 999
Specialised Unit (office hours): 0161 856 4551 or 4555

Social Services

Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours): 0161 770 6936
Children and Adults Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (Office Hours): 0161 770 7777

Specialist Independent Domestic Violence (including Honour Based Violence) Service 

Oldham has a team of specialist Independent Domestic Violence Advisors in addition to a specialist Officer who deals with cases of so called honour based violence (including forced marriage and FGM). The team can offer emotional and practical support to victims and survivors, including;

  • Provision of an outreach service
  • Support from the point of crisis
  • Assessment of risk level and development of safety plans
  • Support with civil and criminal justice matters
  • Advocating on behalf of victims

The team can be contacted through Community Safety Services on 0161 770 1573. The team only operates Monday to Friday during normal work hours (9am-5pm). If you require support outside of normal working hours please telephone the national 24 hour reporting line. Visit or contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in emergencies.

Early Help Service 

The Early Help offer is available for all residents who have needs or issues at whatever level of complexity; the offer is inclusive and is available to individuals and families who have many problems, as well as to those who just need a little support, advice or signposting.

The approach in Early Help is to work with all the presenting issues rather than pass people around services and systems that we have created, which cause more confusion and delay for families. Early Help works with a multitude of issues including; homelessness and eviction, work and skills, substance misuse, mental health, school behaviour and attendance and relationship issues.

Early Help is accessed via the single point of contact in the MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub). Alternatively you can contact the MASH by telephone on 0161 770 7777.


Threshold Women's Services Helpline (24 hours): 0161 628 4991
National Helpline (24 hours): 0808 2000 247
National Centre for Domestic Violence Legal Advice Line can provide help with injunctions (24 hours): 0844 8044 999

Specialist Support

MALE (Men’s Advice Line & Enquiries): 0808 801 0327
Galop (LGBT Services): 0800 999 5428
RESPECT (for perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse): 0808 802 4040

Specialist Support for Children and Young People

Healthy Young Minds Oldham

Healthy Young Minds Oldham (formerly CAMHS) offers specialist services to children and young people who are experiencing mental health and emotional wellbeing difficulties.

For further details and information on how to access the service please visit the Healthy Young Minds website.

The Children’s Society

The service is for children and young people aged 5–19 who have experienced or are currently exposed to sexual or domestic abuse and who live in Manchester, Oldham or Rochdale.

For further details and information on how to access the service please visit the Children's Society website.


  • Nobody should have to experience domestic abuse in their home 
  • If it’s happening, it’s not your fault
  • Domestic abuse doesn’t always involve physical violence – it can also include bullying and threats
  • You can always speak to a counsellor about what's going on
  • If you’re in danger call 999.

To talk to somebody in confidence telephone 0800 1111 

For further details and information about Childline please visit the Childline website.


If you think a child is in immediate danger contact the police on 999.

If you're worried about a child, but unsure contact our helpline on 0808 800 5000, without delay.  You can discuss your concerns with our trained counsellors who will assess the information you give them and can take action on your behalf, if necessary.

For further details and information about the NSPCC please visit the NSPCC website.


For information and advice about emergency accommodation or moving home because of domestic abuse.

One Point Housing Options and Advice
Emergencies only (out of hours): 0800 988 7061
Office hours: 0161 393 7117

Local Agencies

Oldham Citizen’s Advice Bureau: 0300 330 9073


The following provide information, advice and support on living with or trying to escape an abusive relationship.

Women’s Aid – England:
Legal advice for women: